Politics

Ryan Rules Out Lame-Duck TPP

House speaker says 'even if we wanted to … we don't have the votes' to pass trade pact

Paul Ryan said Friday there would be no lame duck attempt to foist the Trans-Pacific Partnership on the American people.

“We’re not going to bring this up in [the] lame-duck [session],” Ryan said Friday morning during an appearance on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

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“I can say that safely because even if we wanted to … we don’t have the votes,” Ryan added. Ryan stressed that he and the House GOP do not want to resurrect the TPP in its current form.

“We think it’s not where it needs to be,” Ryan said. Obama has “got to fix this deal,” said Ryan. “There’s real problems with it.”

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Ryan has come a long way since he was stumping around the country promoting fast-track authority so that Obama could negotiate the free trade agreement unilaterally.

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But congressional Republicans’ enthusiasm for the TPP has waned as their constituents’ opposition to globalization has grown. Indeed, Ryan’s retreat from enthusiastic endorsement to cautious skepticism mirrors that of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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“The current agreement, the Trans-Pacific [Partnership], which has some serious flaws, will not be acted upon this year,” McConnell said in August.

But McConnell, like Ryan, has not fully closed the door on the TPP or free trade deals in general.

“[The TPP] will still be around,” McConnell said after his announcement. “It can be massaged, changed, worked on during the next administration.”

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