A victory, for today at least:
BREAKING NEWS: Senate votes, 52-45, to block Obama on trade. The vote prevents the start of debate on a measure that would have given the administration authority to negotiate freely with other countries.
President Obama’s fellow Democrats threatened to derail one of his major second-term priorities Tuesday, with key senators poised to hold up consideration of “fast track” trade authority unless related measures are guaranteed to proceed alongside it.
The trade legislation faces a test vote Tuesday afternoon, with 60 votes needed to begin formal debate of measures that would pave the way for approval of a complex Pacific trade accord, provide relief to unemployed workers affected by trade deals and toughen enforcement of various trade-related provisions.Ahead of the vote, many Democrats — including some of the handful who have supported Obama’s trade push — said they were not inclined to move forward with debate unless Republican leaders provided assurances that the various pieces would move in tandem.