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House Votes to Stall Trade Promotion Authority

Tuesday’s anticipated re-vote on Obama’s trade agenda served simply to prolong the limbo: the U.S. House voted 236-189 to give itself six more weeks to come to a decision on the trade legislation.

According to NPR, House Republican leaders encouraged their members to approve a rule change that would allow extra time for a second vote on the Trade Adjustment Assistance portion of the trade package, which failed Friday.

Trade Adjustment Assistance, or TAA, would provide aid for American workers who find themselves out of jobs because of free trade agreements. Critics claim TAA would cost the country too much.

The Senate had already approved Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and TAA, and because TPA can’t progress without TAA approval, the House’s rejection has stalled the fast-track bill.

And without the fast-track bill that lets the president propose trade agreements for a simple yes or no vote, the in-work 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership can’t be finalized either.

Lawmakers now have until July 30 to come to a compromise that would see the package passed and send it on to the president for his signature.