McConnell sets up first trade vote
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: NY Times story sparks new firestorm over Kavanaugh Senator asked FBI to follow up on new information about Kavanaugh last year Congress must reinstate assault weapons ban MORE on Thursday teed up the Senate's first vote on fast-track trade legislation, setting up a test vote for one of the Kentucky Republican's top policy priorities. 

The Senate will take a procedural vote Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. to end debate on a motion to proceed to a House bill on tax exemptions, which the Senate will use as the legislative vehicle for fast-track. 


The legislation, which would block Congress from amending a trade pact the administration is negotiating with 11 Pacific Rim countries, is a rare area of agreement between McConnell and the Obama administration. 

But McConnell is facing some pushback within his own party over the legislation. 

Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHouse Democrats seeking Sessions's testimony in impeachment probe McCabe's counsel presses US attorney on whether grand jury decided not to indict US attorney recommends moving forward with charges against McCabe after DOJ rejects his appeal MORE suggested Thursday that he remains skeptical of the legislation, adding that he recently wrote a letter to President Obama on the subject. 

“We are going to agree in advance before we see the completed treaty, before it's made public, to allow this agreement to pass. ... I think that's a big ask for Congress,” he said. 

The Alabama Republican added that while he's supported fast-track legislation in the past, he believes “it's time for us to be a lot more careful” with trade agreements. 

Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid warns Trump 'can be reelected' Homeland Security Republican accuses Navy of withholding UFO info Poll: 47 percent back limits on Senate filibuster MORE (D-Nev.) threatened this week to block the trade legislation, though it’s unclear if he'll have enough votes to do so.

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenators struggle to get spending bills off ground as shutdown looms Trump defends push to ban flavored e-cigarettes: Let's 'keep young children from Vaping!' Overnight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine MORE (D-Ill.) told reporters that Democratic leadership is still talking to its members, particularly Democrats that support the trade legislation.  

The trade legislation has divided Democrats, including the leadership team. Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care: Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare Trump's sinking polls embolden Democrats to play hardball Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (D-Wash.) broke with Reid and Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (D-N.Y.), who is poised to be the next Democratic leader, by supporting the legislation.