The Senate Wednesday wrapped up its work on a package of trade bills and moved to head to a conference committee with House lawmakers on a trade customs and enforcement bill.

Senators passed a motion by a voice vote to go to conference on the issue.


The move comes after the Senate passed a trade preferences bill, which includes a trade adjustment assistance (TAA) measure, as well as a fast-track trade bill. 

Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by AdvaMed — House panel delays impeachment vote until Friday Senators zero in on shadowy court at center of IG report Trump administration approves Medicaid work requirements in South Carolina MORE (D-Ore.), who has helped guide the package of bills through the Senate, sought to reassure his Democratic colleagues ahead of the vote, pledging to push for his party's priorities during the conference with House members. 

"My view is that any bill that comes out of that enforcement conference, the customs conference, needs to reflect important American priorities," he said. "We really need to go into the customs conference with some markers, some strong markers that lay out a path for some of our priorities with respect to enforcing the customs law." 

Wyden said those priorities include a measure from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) that would bolster small businesses, a proposal by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) that would crack down on trade partners who violate environmental laws and a plan by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) to establish a trade enforcement trust fund. All would be on the "short list" for Senate Democrats during the customs conference. 

Wyden added that he met with Democrats on Monday night, and also spoke with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the House Ways and Means Committee chief, about the issue. 

The vote came as senators scrambled to finish up their work on trade legislation. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that while the Senate will be in session on Thursday, no votes will be held.