Lew: TPP vote still possible in lame-duck

Lew: TPP vote still possible in lame-duck
© Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewObama talks up Warren behind closed doors to wealthy donors On The Money: Lawmakers pile on the spending in .4T deal | Trump-Pelosi trade deal creates strife among progressives | Trump, Boris Johnson discuss 'ambitious' free-trade agreement Former Obama Treasury secretary endorses Biden MORE on Wednesday said he still believes Congress could vote to ratify a broad Asia-Pacific trade deal, despite some high-profile opposition.

Days after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate Republicans confident they'll win fight on witnesses The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems to present case on abuse of power on trial's third day The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' MORE (R-Ky.) predicted the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would not receive a vote before President Obama leaves office at the end of the year, the administration is singing a different tune.


Speaking at the Brookings Institution, Lew acknowledged that there were challenges ahead for getting the deal done, but he remained committed.

“We think it will be done this year, and we’re going to do whatever we can to make that happen,” he said, when asked what message he would give his Asian counterparts.

Lew’s comments make clear that the administration is not going to give up on getting Congress to ratify the trade deal, even as vulnerable lawmakers and top politicians come out against the package.

The presidential nominees for both parties, Republican Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation MORE and Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti defends Tulsi Gabbard's lawsuit against Hillary Clinton Trump to hold rally on eve of New Hampshire primary MORE, have both announced opposition to the deal. And the leaders in both chambers of Congress have been far from optimistic about getting it passed.

Earlier this month, McConnell was blunt when he described the chances of the TPP receiving a vote during the lame-duck session of Congress after the general election.

“The current agreement … which has some serious flaws, will not be acted upon this year," he said at the Kentucky State Farm Bureau breakfast.

Meanwhile, Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHill.TV's Saagar Enjeti rips Sanders for 'inability to actually fight with bad actors' in party Biden fires back at Sanders on Social Security Warren now also knocking Biden on Social Security MORE (R-Wis.), who generally is supportive of trade deals, doubted he had the votes to get it passed in the House.

But Lew indicated that the president plans to use his final months in office to mount a full campaign to get the TPP through, while acknowledging a “complicated” political environment.

“The president remains committed to getting it done and will use every ounce of energy he and the rest of us in the administration have to pushing it forward,” he said.