White House says optimistic Congress will back TPP trade pact

WASHINGTON, Dec 15 (Reuters) - The White House said on Tuesday it was optimistic Congress would back the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact “in timely fashion” and that it will work with Republican congressional leaders to that end.

“We continue to be optimistic that this is something that Congress can and should do in a timely fashion,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at a White House briefing. “And we will work closely with Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell to get it done,” he said, referring to House of Representative Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Reporting by Susan Heavey; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Diane Craft