Capitol Report: Paul Ryan says ‘we will have the votes’ for fast track
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Rep. Paul Ryan predicts there will be enough votes in the House to pass “fast track” trade authority.
“We will have the votes,” Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who leads the House Ways and Means Committee, said Sunday. “We’re gaining a lot of steam and momentum,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” As the Hill writes, the Senate is expected to vote on the agreement soon. Republican leaders in the House, meanwhile, have struggled to get the votes needed to pass the fast-track legislation. The legislation is a priority of both Republicans and President Barack Obama. Ryan said “we’re doing very well” at rounding up votes.
Business lobby blowing it: Top House Republicans, meanwhile, believe the business community is blowing its chance on trade. Politico writes that Republicans believe big business advocates aren’t flooding Capitol phone lines, or winning over skeptical Republicans. And they haven’t made much headway with business-friendly Democrats who are considering voting for fast track. “The lobbying effort on the Hill has been abysmal,” one senior Republican aide said.
To do in the Senate: The Senate this week will try to finish three bills, two of which have looming deadlines. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, writes National Journal, has three competing priorities before sending the Senate home for a Memorial Day break: fast track, the Patriot Act, and a highway bill. Both the telephone-surveillance system under the Patriot Act and the government’s authority to draw from the highway trust fund expire at the end of the month, so Congress needs a resolution. But the Senate isn’t under a pressing deadline to complete work on trade.
Christie wants bigger military: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a potential Republican presidential contender for 2016, will call on Monday for an expanded military and defend U.S. intelligence programs. Christie will lay out his foreign policy vision during a visit to New Hampshire, writes Time magazine. Christie is also set to criticize the emerging Iran nuclear agreement as well as President Obama’s fight against ISIS.
Progressives irked by Clinton: Hillary Clinton’s decision to personally raise money for a super PAC supporting her presidential campaign is agitating her progressive critics, CNN reports. They see it as further proof the Democrats’ presidential frontrunner doesn’t share some of their values. Clinton’s expected involvement with the Priorities USA super PAC has highlighted the contrasts between her and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent running for the Democratic nomination. He called her decision to court super PAC donors “unfortunate.”