WASHINGTON, June 24, 2015 –Two of the Republicans who are pursuing the presidency voted against Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who voted for an earlier version of the legislation in May. (The other, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, voted against TPA both times.) While his vote may hurt him in export-dependent and politically important states like Iowa, Cruz ticked off several concerns with the legislation, including the possibility that the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement could force the U.S. to increase immigration.
In a column for the conservative website Breitbart, Cruz also expressed anger that that some senators were using their support for TPA as leverage to get a vote to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. “TPA in this Congress has become enmeshed in corrupt Washington backroom deal-making, along with serious concerns that it would open up the potential for sweeping changes in our laws that trade agreements typically do not include,” Cruz wrote.
The Export-Import Bank is due to expire June 30. The Senate is expected to vote on a reauthorization when it takes up an extension of highway funding next month.
Among the Democrats supporting the TPA bill Thursday, were Washington’s senators, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, who have been working to get Ex-Im reauthorized. The Boeing Co., one of their state’s largest employers, is one of Ex-Im’s biggest beneficiaries.
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