McConnell sets up first trade vote
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell focuses on confirming judicial nominees with COVID-19 talks stalled McConnell accuses Democrats of sowing division by 'downplaying progress' on election security Warren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt 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. 

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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 SessionsTrump's policies on refugees are as simple as ABCs Ocasio-Cortez, Velázquez call for convention to decide Puerto Rico status White House officials voted by show of hands on 2018 family separations: report 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 ReidSenate Republicans signal openness to working with Biden Mellman: The likely voter sham Bottom line 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 DurbinMcConnell focuses on confirming judicial nominees with COVID-19 talks stalled Senate Republicans signal openness to working with Biden Top GOP senator calls for Biden to release list of possible Supreme Court picks 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 MurrayTrump health officials grilled over reports of politics in COVID-19 response CDC director pushes back on Caputo claim of 'resistance unit' at agency The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Pence lauds Harris as 'experienced debater'; Trump, Biden diverge over debate prep MORE (D-Wash.) broke with Reid and Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerMcConnell accuses Democrats of sowing division by 'downplaying progress' on election security Warren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt Schumer lashes out at Trump over 'blue states' remark: 'What a disgrace' MORE (D-N.Y.), who is poised to be the next Democratic leader, by supporting the legislation.