Ways & Means Committee approved the Fast Track trade authority bill on a near party line vote. 25-13. All Republicans on the committee plus two Democrats (Kind and Blumenauer) voted for the bill.
Ranking Member Sander Levin offered a substitute trade authority bill that would have replaced aspirational, unenforceable trade negotiation objectives with mandatory negotiating “instructions”. It would have withheld fast track procedures until the administration proved to the congress that it met the objectives. It would have also substantially improved transparency, in contrast to the secretive negotiating process. However, Chairman Ryan ruled the substitute “non-germane” in a controversial move designed to prevent consideration.
As of this posting, the Committee is still at work at 9:12p et. They are considering a bill to strengthen enforcement of countervailing duty orders. The bill is the PROTECT Act.
CPA believes there are some good aspects of the PROTECT Act, but favors the ENFORCE Act passed by the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday 4/22/15.