Schumer says Pacific trade pact may have enough votes to pass the Senate

Schumer says Pacific trade pact may have enough votes to pass the Senate
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

The expected future leader of Senate Democrats said Tuesday that there is a chance the upper chamber will pass an Asia-Pacific trade agreement this year while acknowledging there is a tougher road in the House.

New York Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats now attack internet rules they once embraced Schumer: Trump budget would ‘cripple’ gun background checks Schumer: Senate Republicans' silence 'deafening' on guns, Russia MORE said that if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers feel pressure on guns Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure MORE (R-Ky.) decides to consider the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) the trade deal may narrowly pass this year. 

“I think if he [McConnell] puts it on the floor, it may well get its 51 votes in the Senate even if some Democrats change their views," Schumer told CNBC's John Harwood.

"But it's an iffy question for the House to get a majority in the House," he said. 

Schumer, who is expected to take the reins from retiring Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidWATCH: There is no Trump-Russia collusion and the media should stop pushing this The demise of debate in Congress ‘North by Northwest,’ the Carter Page remake MORE of Nevada in the next Congress, said McConnell hasn't consulted him about how he will proceed when Congress returns to Washington for a lame-duck session after the November elections. 

McConnell has said he doesn't expect to take up the TPP this year. 

But Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchOvernight Finance: NAFTA defenders dig in | Tech pushes Treasury to fight EU on taxes | AT&T faces setback in merger trial | Dems make new case against Trump tax law | Trump fuels fight over gas tax What sort of senator will Mitt Romney be? Not a backbencher, even day one Lawmaker interest in NAFTA intensifies amid Trump moves MORE (R-Utah) has said the TPP could pass during the lame-duck session this year if the Obama administration addresses a handful of Republican concerns, including the length of patent protections for high-tech drugs called biologics. 

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanRepublicans are avoiding gun talks as election looms The Hill's 12:30 Report Flake to try to force vote on DACA stopgap plan MORE (R-Wis.) has said that there is not enough support in the House for the TPP deal and has said it is doubtful the pact will come up in the House in the lame-duck. 

President Obama and supportive business groups are urging Congress to ratify the TPP by the end of the year before the next president takes office. 

Republican Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE and Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map MORE each oppose the TPP and have turned trade into a toxic issue on the campaign trail, making the already contentious issue even more challenging for congressional lawmakers.