The Senate on Tuesday handed President Barack Obama the biggest legislative victory of his second term, with a dramatic vote clearing the way for major trade agreements with Pacific Rim nations and the European Union.
The 60-37 vote all but ensures the passage of legislation that will allow Obama to “fast-track” the trade pacts he negotiates through Congress, preventing filibusters or amendments. Liberals have long assailed Obama’s trade agenda, but Republicans successfully wooed a bloc of Democrats led by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to secure enough votes to overcome a filibuster.
With the 60-vote threshold cleared, the path is now open for the Senate to take a final vote on the legislation on Wednesday.
The fate of the bill, also known as Trade Promotion Authority, hinged on whether backers of the fast-track legislation could win over Democratic Sens. Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Chris Coons (Del.). All three remained mum as to their intentions before the vote, with Coons lambasting the Senate on his way to the chamber for taking up a free trade vote while at the same time letting financing for exports, through the Export-Import Bank, lapse. It wasn’t enough to sway his vote, though, as all three voted to move forward.
The vote came down to the wire, thanks to an eleventh-hour reversal by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who announced his opposition in a bombastic op-ed for Breitbart News that sent Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) scrambling for additional Democratic support.
Still, the razor-thin margin of the final vote count masks the fact that McConnell had slightly broader support at his disposal. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) stood by the table in the well of the Senate for most of the vote, waiting for the measure to get across the threshold of 60. As soon as it did, with a vote by Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Cardin voted no, suggesting he had been willing to vote yes if needed.
Read more: Huffington Post
- The Two Missing Minutes in Case Where Officer Mohamed Noor Shot the Yoga Teacher
- Watch: Al Sharpton’s Epic Fails When Reading Teleprompter Will Have You Rolling With Laughter, ‘The Thigh (Thai) Militarty’
- If You Wear a Miniskirt in Saudi Arabia, Here is What Happens…
- Wife Found Guilty of Shooting Her Husband Dead and the Only Witness was Their Pet Parrot
- Officer Mohamed Noor Refuses to Cooperate With Investigators After Shooting Dead Yoga Teacher
- Crocodile Returns Body of Man it Killed After Witch Doctor ‘Summoned It’ [Video]
- Congress Fails to Include Majority of Trump’s Budget Cuts in House GOP Budget Plan
- Trump Admin Wins Second Time with Travel Ban, Strict Enforcement…
- Watch: Elderly Man Shoots Tires of AT&T Truck — Is This Wrong?
- 10,000 New ICE Agents are Ordered to Crackdown on Sanctuary Cities
- ANTIFA Protester Hits MAGA Man, Then All Hell Breaks Loose [Video]
- Sean Spicer is Out: Quits Job as Press Secretary and is Replaced by…
- John McCain’s Daughter Reveals the Senator Has Been Diagnosed With Brain Cancer
- College Students Love Socialism, But Can’t Define It [VIDEO]
- Delta Airlines Kicks Ann Coulter Out of Her Seat and Boy Was That the Wrong Decision…
- Gang of 4 Stalk 50yr-Old Woman, ‘Forced Her to Perform Oral Sex at Gunpoint’ [Video]
- Watch: Revolver or Semi-Auto for a Conceal Carry Weapon?
- EXCLUSIVE: American Patriot & [email protected] Chuck Taylor Discusses Defensive Handgun Shooting [WATCH]