McConnell: Obama ‘has done an excellent job’
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appeared on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday morning, telling host George Stephanopoulos that he supports Hillary Clinton’s Obamatrade deal. (Transcript here)
McConnell has come under fire from both Republicans and Democrats this past week for pushing the slippery Trade Promotion Authority that would fast-track the Trans Pacific Partnership trade liberalization deal Barack Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton negotiated with eleven Pacific Rim nations.
Conservative Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, contends McConnell is jeopardizing Republican control of the U.S. Senate in the next election by pushing this tremendously unpopular trade deal through Congress.
But McConnell is not to be dissuaded. He previously described his coordination with Obama on trade as “an out-of-body experience.”
Fast-track authority faces a significantly more difficult path in the House. Nearly all Democrats are opposed to the scheme, along with strong a contingent of Republicans.
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, expressed confidence that the measure will pass in the House. “We will have the votes,” Ryan declared on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We’re doing very well. We’re gaining a lot of steam and momentum.”
Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon (R-CD-5) exhibiting eel-like slipperiness, was quoted as saying,
“The president I don’t think has any political capital at all with this place, and it’s coming to bear right now because the president needs a real heavy lift, and nobody feels any real connection with him or like they owe him anything.”
Still, Salmon plans to vote for Obama’s trade agenda when it hits the House floor, though unlike Ryan, he claims doesn’t think House GOP leadership has the votes.
“I’m voting for it,” Salmon stated, “not because of him but in spite of him. I don’t think he could pick me out of a crowd, which is so different from when I was here when Bill Clinton was president because President Clinton was really engaged with everybody.”
Sunday’s Arizona Republic weighs in with an mega-editorial urging Democrats Kyrsten Sinema (CD-9) and Ann Kirkpatrick (CD-1) not to side “with extremists” and to ignore pressure from labor unions which oppose the trade pact and, coincidently, fund their campaigns.
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