(Yomiuri: June 18, 2015 – p. 7)
The Republican Party, which advocates the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, changed its strategy to enacting the bill for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) on its own in the House of Representatives because it decided that winning over the opponents in the Democratic Party is no longer possible. Although the Republicans have made numerous concessions to the Democrats, they have now switched to a strategy of enacting the TPA bill on their own.
Although the Democrats were originally hoping to enhance the bill for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) as a way to support the disadvantaged, most of the Democrats opposed the TAA bill in the House of Representatives in order to scrap the TPA bill that was bundled with it. In order to pass the TAA bill in a revote, the Republicans tried to bring members of President Obama’s Democratic Party over to their side, but their efforts were in vain. As a result, the Republicans apparently decided that it would be impossible to collect about 90 additional votes from the Democrats.
As the TPA bill was once passed in the House by a narrow margin, there is a strong possibility that the TPA will be passed in the Senate as a single bill. However, some Democrats supported the TPA bill in the House on the condition that measures for supporting the unemployed would be enhanced, so it is uncertain whether the bill will be passed by the Senate.
It also remains to be seen how many Democrats in the Senate who supported the passage in the previous vote will cooperate this time. Concerned that the prolonged proceedings in Congress will affect the entire TPP negotiations, the Republicans have apparently decided to take a risk and aim to enact the bill as quickly as possible.