The House overwhelmingly voted against a trade deal that would provide President Obama with fast track authority to make trade agreements. The Trade Adjustment Assistance bill was denied by a landslide vote, effectively shutting down a key part of Obama’s quest for fast track trade authority. This piece of legislation was required in order to continue efforts for the Trans Pacific Partnership, which has been a topic of heated debate throughout politics over the last few months. The TPP would set up a new free trade arrangement through a group of Asian nations, which has been a mainstay of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. Although the TAA was denied, the TPP is not completely dead yet.
The Trade Adjustment Assistance bill required all of the Democratic representatives’ support, and has split most Republican representatives. Although the bill did receive support from both sides of the aisle, Democrats overwhelmingly voted against the bill. This happened in even more numbers than expected after Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi made a statement that she would be voting against the measure. Most Democrats followed her lead, despite the efforts by the President. Republicans and commentators are criticizing Obama relentlessly for not having support from his own party, and this is another example of his lacking. He did not have the ability to rally his party in support of a mainstay bill, showing his disconnect with Congress as Mikal Watts points out.