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Dems who supported trade deal get Obama state dinner invites

 
Support President Obama’s trade agenda — get a ticket to an elegant state dinner at the White House. 
 
Five congressional Democrats who have pledged their support for trade promotion authority legislation will don their black-tie best Tuesday night at a dinner for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
 
Reps. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) and Ron Kind (Wis.), the only two Democrats to vote last week to approve fast-track legislation in the House Ways and Means Committee, are slated to attend the evening’s lavish festivities. 
 
{mosads}The authors of a bipartisan fast-track compromise — Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) — will also hobnob in the East Room. 
 
They will be joined by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), a leader in the bipartisan congressional Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) caucus he helped launch in 2013, as well as Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), a member of the Finance panel who was one of seven Democrats to back a fast-track bill last week in committee. 
 
The United States and Japan are in talks with 10 other nations on the TPP, which spans from Latin America to the Pacific Rim and represents about 40 percent of global growth. 
 
Fast-track legislation is not only expected to speed trade deals through Congress but expedite completion of the long-awaited TPP agreement. 
 
Abe and Obama each vowed Tuesday to push for conclusion of the bilateral agreement between their two countries as well as the broader trade deal. 
 
“Japan and the United States — or with President Barack Obama and myself — we want to exert leadership to bring about an early conclusion of the TPP,” Abe said during remarks earlier in the day. 
 
Abe will address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday. 
 
Several other Democrats — some of whom have yet to show their hand on fast-track — will be in attendance as well. 
 
Notably, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who said last week that “I’m not telling you how I’m voting on anything because we don’t have anything to vote on yet,” will attend with her husband, Paul. 
 
Pelosi has criticized the fast-track legislation for taking too much power from Congress to influence the trade debate.
Tags Barack Obama Earl Blumenauer Orrin Hatch Paul Ryan Ron Kind Ron Wyden Tom Carper

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