The Senate Finance Committee has set April 21 as a target date for marking up a bill to renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), also called “fast track,” an action that is expected to be preceded by the introduction of the legislation and a Finance Committee hearing just a week beforehand, according to informed sources.
[Reposted from Inside US Trade | April 2, 2015]
This decision to move forward on a bill has led some congressional sources and lobbyists to assume that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) have reached agreement on the substance of the bill and will now focus on deciding what other trade bills would be passed along with TPA, these sources said. Other sources insist that this is not the case, and that the two sides are still working toward a compromise.
House Ways & Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) last week suggested that a miscellaneous tariff bill will not be ready in time to move with TPA. One lobbyist said even a bill to reform the MTB process would not be likely to move with TPA either.
Apart from dealing with other add-on trade legislation, the two sides will have to decide the details of the Senate-first strategy that TPA proponents are pursuing in the hope of avoiding two House votes on the TPA bill and creating momentum, sources said.
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