Though the bill to grant President Obama trade fast-tracking authority was pushed through the Senate in a late and surprising bipartisan rally, the fate of the House effort appears to be much more aggravated.
House Democrats have become much more vocal and strident in their opposition to the bill than their Senate counterparts. It has caused more delays in debate on the floor and only increases the likelihood that the bill will not pass.
The bill’s short history in Congress has seen some of the strangest bedfellows. Obama’s greatest defenders of the effort have been Republicans. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, for instance, has gone to lengths to win over his Republican colleagues on the merits of the bill.
Meanwhile, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) continues to lead what can be considered a Democratic revolution against the president. She argues there is “overwhelming opposition in the Democrat caucus” for a what she calls “bad bill.”
House Speaker John Boehner promised the bill would come to a vote soon should it pass from the Senate, but that ‘soon’ may become very relative with the potential floor debate already pushed into week two or three of June.
A Republican strategy has emerged. It involves separating the bill into parts in order to approve them individually. However, Democrats are reportedly planning to ‘sabotage’ the measure by voting against the package entirely in order to kill the fast-track authority.