McConnell hoping to pass trade promotion authority

The Senate's top Republican hopes the upper chamber can move forward soon with trade promotion authority, which would streamline passage of global agreements. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: Fireworks on health care expected at Dem debate | Trump FDA pick dodges on vaping ban | Trump to host meeting on youth vaping Friday | AMA calls for immediate vaping ban GOP senator blocks vote on House-passed Violence Against Women Act On The Money: Senate scraps plan to force second shutdown vote | Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny | McConnell rips House Dems for holding up trade deal MORE (Ky.) said Tuesday that he wants to pass so-called fast-track authority because it is one of the few issues where Congress and the White House agree.

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"Hopefully, we can work this out and go forward because we all know without trade promotion authority, there will be no trade agreement, and a trade agreement is obviously in the best interests of our country," he told reporters.

Discussions over legislation that detail negotiating priorities on trade are ongoing in Congress. 

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchKey Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock Trump awards Medal of Freedom to racing industry icon Roger Penske Trump holds more Medal of Freedom ceremonies than predecessors but awards fewer medals MORE (R-Utah), panel ranking member Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: Google to limit political ad targeting | Senators scrutinize self-driving car safety | Trump to 'look at' Apple tariff exemption | Progressive lawmakers call for surveillance reforms | House panel advances telecom bills Democrats raise privacy concerns over Amazon home security system Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny MORE (D-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanIs Joe Biden finished? Krystal Ball previews fifth Democratic debate Former Speaker Boehner's official portrait unveiled MORE (R-Wis.) are all keen on reaching an agreement on a bill that can gain congressional approval. 

Fast-track would allow any trade deals that reach Congress to speed through without amendment. 

Several Obama administration officials — U.S. Trade Representative Michael FromanMichael B.G. FromanOn The Money: Sanders unveils plan to wipe .6T in student debt | How Sanders plan plays in rivalry with Warren | Treasury watchdog to probe delay of Harriet Tubman bills | Trump says Fed 'blew it' on rate decision Democrats give Trump trade chief high marks US trade rep spent nearly M to furnish offices: report MORE and Jeff Zients, director of the National Economic Council — were on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to brief Democrats on trade and more discussions are expected.

Meanwhile, labor unions are planning to blitz Capitol Hill on Wednesday to urge lawmakers to oppose fast-track authority because they argue it is bad for jobs and wages.

Earlier in the day, top business executives called on Congress to give President Obama the authority to negotiate trade deals.

They said that their businesses would ramp up hiring here under new trade agreements.