President Obama and Republican congressional leaders during a closed-door meeting at the White House on Tuesday (Feb. 2) agreed to continue discussions on the path forward for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Congress after they were unable to bridge the gaps in their positions on when the deal should come up for a vote.
[Daily News| February, 02 2016 | Inside US Trade]
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made clear to reporters after the meeting that he is sticking to his position that Congress should not consider TPP prior to the November election, and for the first time raised doubts about whether it should come up in the lame-duck session. He also reiterated that he has some problems with TPP.
By contrast, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest drove home the point that President Obama wants Congress to act on the TPP as soon as possible, although he repeatedly stated that the administration has not laid out a firm deadline for a congressional vote.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-OH) issued a statement after the meeting that did not address the timing of a TPP vote, but said the participants had discussed “number of concerns that lawmakers have raised about the substance of TPP that must still be addressed.” Ryan has previously said that he believes a TPP vote is possible in 2016, but that he does not know when it would take place.
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