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White House calls House vote on trade package: 'procedural SNAFU'

Friday, June 12, 2015 - 01:20

The White House dismisses as a ''procedural SNAFU'' a failed vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on part of President Barack Obama's hallmark trade agenda. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The White House on Friday (June 12) dismissed a failed vote in the House of Representatives on part of President Barack Obama's trade agenda as a "procedural SNAFU." The House of Representatives delivered a blow, though perhaps a temporary one, to President Obama's signature goal of strengthening ties with Asia when it defeated one measure, but approved another important to finishing a Pacific Rim trade pact. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said it would be important for Republicans and Democrats to agree on trade adjustment, but said the White House was pleased that the House advanced the "fast-track" measure. "These kinds of entanglements are endemic to the House of Representatives," Earnest told reporters during a daily briefing. In a dramatic vote, Obama's own Democrats, as well as Republicans, failed to produce enough support to approve a bill that would have given aid to workers who lose their jobs as a result of U.S. trade deals with other countries. The measure was soundly rejected in a 302-126 vote. That was quickly followed by the House's narrow approval of a separate measure to give Obama "fast-track" authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. But the legislation is stuck in the House because of the defeat Obama and House Speaker John Boehner suffered on the first vote. Fast-track authority would let lawmakers set negotiating objectives for trade deals, but restrict them to only a yes-or-no vote on the finished agreement. Hours before divided lawmakers were due to vote on legislation central to his hallmark Pacific Rim trade deal, Obama arrived at Capitol Hill with Labor Secretary Thomas Perez for the culmination of an intense effort to build support among Democrats over the last 24 hours. But shortly before the doomed vote, some of Obama's fellow Democrats signaled that the president's efforts at persuasion had failed.

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White House calls House vote on trade package: 'procedural SNAFU'

Friday, June 12, 2015 - 01:20