Were you one of the lefties who thought the “stunning defeat” (as the Villagers breathlessly reported it) that House Dems supposedly dealt to President Obama’s trade deal a while back was really a thing? Haha, joke’s on you:
WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday narrowly voted to end debate on legislation granting President Obama enhanced negotiating powers to complete a major Pacific trade accord, virtually ensuring final passage on Wednesday of Mr. Obama’s top legislative priority in his final years in office.
The procedural decision barely cleared the 60 votes needed — the tally was 60 to 37 — but final passage will need only 51 votes. It was the second time the Senate blocked a filibuster of the so-called trade promotion authority, but this time the bill was shorn of a measure to offer enhanced retraining and education assistance to workers displaced by international trade accords. That measure faces a crucial procedural vote on Wednesday as well.
The only mystery that remains is will the “free-trade” Dems, including the president, repackage the “enhanced retraining and education assistance” bill — a long-existing band-aid on a sucking chest wound — as some new concession to labor to make the medicine go down a little easier and persuade the Republicans to pass it. Could be! But maybe not.
If the Senatortoise from Kentucky is a crafty old bastard — and he is — he’ll make sure his caucus celebrates this on the QT so the Dems can fully own it. Victories such as this, where your donors reap the benefits and your enemies bear the blame, are rare and sweet.