Week ahead: House trade fight heats up

The fight over fast-track trade authority is coming to a head, with a House vote possible as early as Thursday.

President Obama and Republican leaders are edging closer to securing the votes needed to pass trade promotion authority. The legislation would help Obama close the deal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12-nation economic pact.

Fast-track passed in the Senate last month, but supporters face a tougher fight in the House, where Democrats are worried about free trade's effects on jobs and conservatives are balking at expanding Obama's power.

ADVERTISEMENT

Obama and Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanKenosha will be a good bellwether in 2020 At indoor rally, Pence says election runs through Wisconsin Juan Williams: Breaking down the debates MORE (R-Wis.) have been lobbying furiously to build support. Ryan, the House Ways and Means Chairman, said Thursday that they were within "striking distance" of their goal.

But on the left, groups are pressuring House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to rally opposition.

Trade will take center stage, but lawmakers will be busy with other work too, including spending measures.

The House will take up a $578 billion defense spending bill that is renewing the fight over sequestration. The measure keeps in place spending caps while boosting a Pentagon war fund to help circumvent those limits.

Obama has called on lawmakers to break all of the caps and is threatening to veto a Senate defense policy bill that adheres to sequestration.

House lawmakers are also expected to vote on spending for the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Elsewhere, the House Financial Services Committee will have a hearing on Thursday about "the future of housing in America."

The panel's subcommittee on consumer credit will hold a hearing titled "Examining Legislative Proposals to Preserve Consumer Choice and Financial Independence" on Thursday.

 

Recent stories:

-- Yellen: Fed won't comply with House subpoena yet, by Pete Schroeder: http://bit.ly/1dk3KHm

-- GOP chairman taking highway funding search to Atlanta, by Keith Laing: http://bit.ly/1dSHkOf

-- House to take up defense spending next week, by Cristina Marcos: http://bit.ly/1G0pUby

-- Left raises pressure on Pelosi to oppose Obama's fast-track, by Mike Lillis: http://bit.ly/1H9Tj5i

-- Obama wins 17th House Dem vote for trade, by Vicki Needham:  http://bit.ly/1ASGjzy