The Senate bill aimed at fast-tracking trade authority for Barack Obama was dealt a serious blow yesterday. The Democrats openly opposed their president by defeating a move for cloture on debate by a 52-45 margin.
Though the bill itself is still alive and has widespread support, it demonstrated Democrats are no longer towing the White House line on key legislation as the president’s two-term tenure closes in on its final year.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest dismissed the vote as a “procedural snafu,” Real Clear Politics reports, however, at least one Republican Senator argued his Democrat colleagues were in open rebellion in “throwing their own president under the bus.”
Among the bill’s supporters, Orin Hatch (R-UT) reported that a vote against cloture on the bill means a probable “end of it.” This would serve as a high hurdle for Obama’s push for quick approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal with China and other Asian nations.