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Fast-Track Trade Measure Clears Key Senate Hurdle

Two days after rejecting a measure to take up a bill granting President Obama fast-track trade authority, the Senate voted to move ahead with considering the legislation.

The vote was 65-33.

As Bill reported Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said an agreement had been reached to move forward on the vote. Bill wrote:

"The solution calls for separate votes on bills that Democrats had wanted to move as a single package on the floor, according to NPR's Ailsa Chang. Ailsa says the Senate will vote on a customs enforcement bill that includes Sen. Charles Schumer's safeguards aimed at reducing currency manipulation."

On Tuesday, the fast-track bill fell eight votes short of the 60 needed to avoid a filibuster. It was seen as a major rebuke to Obama. NPR's Brian Naylor reported at the time:

"Democrats — even some who support the trade agreement, like Ron Wyden of Oregon — voted to block the Senate from taking up the bill, because they want Republicans to agree to take up other trade-related measures."

The fast-track authority would pave the way for passage of the Trans Pacific Partnershipa complex trade agreement that supporters say will create new markets for U.S. goods. The deal's critics say it will hurt U.S. jobs.

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