House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Thursday that he saw no point in bringing up the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal for a vote in any “lame duck” session of Congress later this year after November elections, because “we don’t have the votes.”
“As long as we don’t have the votes, I see no point in bringing up an agreement only to defeat it,” Ryan, a Republican, said in an interview with Wisconsin Public Radio.
Despite both U.S. presidential candidates bashing the 12-country Pacific trade deal on the campaign trail, Obama administration officials have pledged to make a major push in coming months to persuade the Republican-majority Congress to pass TPP.
Backed by dozens of business and industry groups, officials from the U.S. Commerce Department, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office and the White House say they are continuing to talk with individual lawmakers about the merits of the deal, including its consequences for U.S. leadership in Asia.
But Ryan said the Obama administration had negotiated a deal that “cost them dozens of votes in Congress,” and said the Democratic president needed to renegotiate some components. The speaker said some agricultural and labor provisions needed fixing, and he also believed the deal would reduce intellectual property rights for biologic drugs and pharmaceuticals.
For U.S. drugmakers the deal could reduce the patent protection period to eight years from the current 12. Senator Orrin Hatch, the influential Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has also raised this as a major problem with the deal.
“They have to fix this agreement and renegotiate some pieces of it if they have any hope or chance of passing it,” Ryan said in the radio interview, but added that he was doubtful this could happen. “I don’t see how they’ll ever get the votes for it.”
(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Sandra Maler)
75 years ago: When atomic scientist Leo Szilard tried to halt dropping bombs over Japan
As this troubled summer rolls along, and the world begins to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the creation, and use, of the first atomic bombs, many special, or especially tragic, days will draw special attention. They will include July 16 (first test of the weapon in New Mexico), August 6 (bomb dropped over Hiroshima) and August 9 (over Nagasaki). Surely far fewer in the media and elsewhere will mark another key date: July 3.
On July 3, 1945, the great atomic scientist Leo Szilard finished a letter/petition that would become the strongest (virtually the only) real attempt at halting President Truman's march to using the atomic bomb--still almost two weeks from its first test at Trinity--against Japanese cities.
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The ranger stopped the 25-year-old Lorentz for speeding on a dirt road near the park's Rattlesnake Springs area, and Mitchell's lapel video shows him ordering Lorentz to spread his feet and move closer to a railing.
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