DOOLEY SAYS FAST-TRACK AUTHORITY BILL FACES CHALLENGE
The Bush Administration’s much sought after legislation which would restore fast-track trade agreement authority to the White House will not be an easy sell in the U.S. House of Representatives, said Cal Dooley, D-Calif.
Addressing a trade seminar sponsored by the Heritage Foundation, Dooley warned that the legislation faces political challenges in the House of Representatives.
Dooley, who is a leading free-trade advocate and who is also co-chairman of the New Democratic Coalition composed of moderate House and Senate Democrats, said Democratic support will be required to win the 218 votes needed to pass the legislation.
He also said about 30 Republicans who are sensitive to the needs of labor and environmentalists will have to be won over.
Dooley expects a vote sometime this Fall.
When trade promotion authority came to a vote in 1997 and 1998, trade promotion authority was defeated, Dooley noted.
And this year, only 73 Democrats joined with Republicans to win 237 votes to allow China into the World Trade Organization.
“We need a bipartisan coalition,” because there are not enough Republican supporters in the House to pass the bill, Dooley said.
One way to gain support is to bring more confidence to congressional committees by assuring them they will have more oversight over future trade agreements, Dooley said.