U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) believes trade promotion authority will pass the Senate. He says the votes appear to be there. “Sixty-five yesses on a procedural question is a pretty good indication of what this fast-track vote will ultimately receive. It needs 60, so that’s more than enough,” he said. Durbin himself was a no on the procedural vote. “We’ve got to ask the hard questions. Will this ultimately be to the benefit of the state of Illinois, or the United States? And we have a lot of at least anecdotal evidence that some people are going to be threatened by these new trade agreements,” he said.
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Trade promotion authority gives the administration the opportunity to negotiate trade deals, and Congress can then vote yes or no, but not amend the deal. It was enacted in 2002 but expired in 2012. The president believes ne needs the authority in order to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The chance of trade promotion authority passing the House is considered to be in doubt.