House majority leader: Congress must pass Obama's trade bill, but every option has big hurdles

Economic Indicators Associated Press

The House majority leader says Congress must find a way to pass President Barack Obama's trade agenda. But he acknowledged there's no obvious pathway for now.

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Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California told reporters Monday "there are many different options" to revive the trade package the House rejected last week. But he made no predictions about how or when the GOP-controlled House might proceed.

McCarthy said one option calls for many Democrats to switch their positions and approve a job training program that's legislatively linked to Obama's bid for "fast track" negotiating authority. Democrats voted overwhelmingly against the measure Friday to kill fast track.

Another option is to amend the trade package and send it back to the Senate. But Obama's allies fear Senate opponents would strangle the legislation there.