Portman’s currency amendment to the Trade Promotion Authority package was narrowly defeated. It had drawn a veto threat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Updated 9:21 p.m. | The Senate approved the “fast track” trade legislation by a vote of 62-37 late Friday evening.
It was a bumpy ride for the trade bill that endured one filibuster and a contentious amendment on currency manipulation enforcement, but ultimately the bill passed by a wide margin and at a relatively early time.
Updated 7:54 p.m. | In a major victory for the White House, opponents of a currency manipulation amendment to the fast track Trade Promotion Authority bill narrowly prevailed late Friday.
Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., sponsored the amendment, which would have strengthened enforcement against other nations considered to be manipulating their currency. The two senators pushed hard, but narrowly lost, 48-51.
“If this fast track trade bill passes the Senate, it is deeply disturbing that it will not include language needed to protect American workers and businesses,” Stabenow said in a statement prior to the vote on final passage. “It’s up to us to decide whether America is leading the race to the top, or if we’re racing to the bottom. Unfortunately, today’s vote is a major step in the wrong direction.” Full story