By Amie Parnes – 01/21/14 06:00 AM EST
The White House is making a major push to convince Congress to give the president trade promotion authority, which would make it easier for President Obama to negotiate pacts with other countries.
A flurry of meetings has taken place in recent days since legislation was introduced to give the president the authority, with U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman meeting with approximately 70 lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate.
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough has also been placing calls and meeting with key Democratic lawmakers in recent days to discuss trade and other issues. Continue reading “Obama: Give me fast track trade”
WASHINGTON — After a grueling, all-night debate that ended close to 5 a.m., the Senate on Saturday adopted its first budget in four years, a $3.7 trillion blueprint for 2014 that would fast-track passage of tax increases, trim spending gingerly and leave the government still deeply in the debt a decade from now.
The 50-to-49 vote sets up contentious — and potentially fruitless — negotiations with the Republican-dominated House in April to reconcile two vastly different plans for dealing with the nation’s economic and budgetary problems. No Republicans voted for the Senate plan on Saturday, and four Democrats — Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Begich of Alaska and Max Baucus of Montana — also opposed it. All four are red-state Democrats up for re-election in 2014.
“The Senate has passed a budget,” Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the Senate Budget Committee chairwoman, declared at 4:56 a.m. Continue reading “Senate Passes $3.7 Trillion Budget, Its First in 4 Years”