President Obama, Congress at odds over Pacific trade deal

President Obama, Congress at odds over Pacific trade deal
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President Obama and congressional leaders remain at odds over whether an Asia-Pacific trade agreement will get a vote before he leaves office.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Tuesday that he didn’t see a path for Congress to vote on the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during the lame duck session after the November elections.


"TPP, the administration knows it has problems, that it should have solved already, to work through, I haven't seen them solve those issues,” McCarthy told reporters.

“There is nothing on the horizon that I see as of right now that would come up into a lame duck,” he said.

For his part, the president continued to make a push for Congress to ratify the agreement before he leaves office, arguing that the TPP deal "is a core pillar of America’s rebalance to the Asia Pacific" representing the importance of U.S. leadership in the Pacific Rim while also acknowledging the uphill battle with lawmakers.

"Failure to move ahead with TPP would not just have economic consequences, but would call into question America’s leadership in this vital region,” the president said Tuesday during remarks in Vientiane, the capital of Laos.

“So as difficult as the politics are back home, I will continue to push hard on the U.S. Congress to approve TPP before I leave office, because I think it is important for this entire region and it is important for the United States,” he said.

The TPP deal is facing growing opposition amid the anti-trade rhetoric in the presidential campaigns — Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Trump on Clinton's Sanders comments: 'She's the one that people don't like' Hillary Clinton tears open wound with her attack on Sanders MORE and Republican Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpRouhani says Iran will never seek nuclear weapons Trump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions Trump says Bloomberg is 'wasting his money' on 2020 campaign MORE each strongly oppose the TPP.

And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump admin releases trove of documents on Ukrainian military aid The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions What to watch for on Day 2 of Senate impeachment trial MORE (R-Ky.) recently said that agreement won’t receive consideration this year.

Plus a majority of Democrats in Congress oppose the deal, forcing Obama to rely on pro-trade Republicans and the few in his own party who are willing to back the deal.

But House and Senate aides say that while there is no momentum to take up the TPP vote before Obama leaves office, a vote is still possible. 

Scott Wong contributed.