Obama to sign fast-track trade legislation

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President Obama on Monday will sign trade legislation that paves the way for him to complete a sweeping trans-Pacific pact with 11 other nations.

The signing ceremony gives Obama the chance to take a victory lap on arguably the biggest legislative win of his second term.  

{mosads}Obama will sign a bill giving him fast-track power to negotiate the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, the centerpiece of his economic agenda. That allows him to finalize the deal without Congress adding measures that could kill it.

He will also sign a worker-aid bill that helps Americans who lose their jobs to foreign competition. 

The House and Senate passed both measures last week after it appeared the package was dead in Congress. House Democrats sunk the worker assistance program earlier this month, defying personal appeals from the president just hours before the vote. 

Obama put on a full-court press to win fast-track powers over the objections of many in his own party. 

The White House launched an aggressive lobbying effort to persuade Democrats to back the bill and the president publicly clashed with Democratic leaders who accused him of pushing a deal that would hurt American workers. 

The trade package is also one of the biggest achievements for the Republican Congress. The president worked with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to craft a winning legislative strategy.

McConnell was invited to the ceremony but is unable to attend “due to a full day of constituent events in Kentucky,” according to spokesman Don Stewart. Boehner, who is leading a congressional delegation to Lithuania, will also not be in attendance.
The White House has not released a full list of invited lawmakers. The bill signing is scheduled during Congress’ July 4 recess, when most lawmakers are away from Washington.
Obama’s win on trade capped a momentous week for the White House. The Supreme Court upheld a key provision of the president’s signature healthcare law and legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, a move Obama called a “victory for America.”

This story was updated at 11:51 a.m. 

Tags Barack Obama fast-track TAA TPA TPP Trade Trans-Pacific Partnership
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