Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellStudy: Trump tops recent GOP presidents in signing bills in first 100 days Senate passes stopgap funding bill to avert shutdown Let’s never talk about a government shutdown — ever again MORE (R-Ky.) said Sunday that the Senate would pass legislation aimed at facilitating pending trade agreements being sought by the Obama administration.
The Senate voted last Thursday to begin debate on the package, two days after Democrats in the upper chamber moved to block debate on the so-called Trade Promotion Authority, a top priority for President Obama.
The legislation would allow the Obama administration to fast-track future trade deals, including those they are currently negotiating with countries in Asia and Europe, by having Congress give an up-or-down vote.
McConnell acknowledged that some of his colleagues are "somewhat squeamish" on giving Obama the authority, "given his expansive view of his powers on so many other issues."
"But this is a Trade Promotion Authority not just for President Obama, but for the next president as well. This is a six-year Trade Promotion Authority bill that will give the next president an opportunity to enter into additional trade agreements with other countries around the world," McConnell said on ABC.
Many liberal Democrats, especially in the House, have voiced their opposition to a trade deal the administration hopes to secure with 11 other Pacific Rim nations, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), a co-sponsor of the fast-track legislation in the House, similarly voiced optimism about the trade initiative on Sunday, saying it was "gaining a lot of steam" in the House.