Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, a leading Democratic backer of President Obama’s trade agenda, and more than a dozen other pro-trade Senate Democrats voted against a Republican proposal to begin consideration of legislation that would give Obama fast-track authority to negotiate trade agreements.
The vote was 52-45, short of the 60 votes needed. After the vote, Wyden, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, tried to sound an optimistic note on the Senate floor.
“I want to be clear … that I am very interested in working with the majority leader (Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.) … to find a bipartisan path to get back to the trade legislation at the earliest possible time,” Wyden said.
It’s not clear what will happen next. While Republicans smoldered, Obama summoned Wyden to the White House to discuss the fate of trade legislation.