BATTLE FOR THE SENATE

House Dems Seeking Senate Seats Oppose Fast Track

They’re breaking with the president on what’s expected to be a key election-year issue.

Andrea Drusch
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Andrea Drusch
June 4, 2015, 4:35 a.m.

“All six House Democrats who have announced runs for the Senate next year oppose a bill granting President Barack Obama fast-track trade negotiating authority, an indication of the issue’s political potency as the trade debate intensifies in the House. The measure “¦ isn’t popular with some of the more liberal parts of the Democratic base, putting House members running for higher office next year under pressure to oppose it.”

“The unanimity of the half-dozen members—and their willingness to break with a president of their own party—reflects the depth of Democratic dissatisfaction with the trade deal and the degree to which the party’s candidates see trade as a key election-year issue.”

“Among the most recent to declare her opposition to the bill” was Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ 01), who made the announcement days after her decision to challenge Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). “McCain voted in favor of fast-track authority in the Senate and hailed its passage as a ‘win for America’s economic and national security future.’”

Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD 08) and Donna Edwards (D-MD 04) both opposed the legislation, but Edwards “is seeking to differentiate herself “¦ on the issue, noting that [Van Hollen] has voted in favor of past trade agreements while she has long opposed them.”

“Showing the extent to which the issue has inverted party allegiances,” Sen. Mark Kirk’s (R-IL) campaign said he’s “proud to stand with President Obama in support of Trade Promotion Authority, and increased trade and exporting opportunities for Illinois’ farmers and employers.” The campaign knocked Rep. Tammy Duckworth’s (D-IL 08) opposition to the bill as “wrong for Illinois.”

Other House Democrats seeking Senate seats, Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL 18) and Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA 46), also opposed the measure. (Wall Street Journal)

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