Bush hails House for passing 'fast track'
House passes measure 215-212 in early Saturday vote
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. President George W. Bush on Saturday praised the House for passing what is known as Trade Promotion Authority and called on the Senate to vote quickly on the bill.
Trade Promotion Authority, also known as "fast track," would allow the president to strike trade deals with other countries that Congress could accept or reject, but not amend.
"For nearly 10 years, America has lacked Trade Promotion Authority and the ability to fully take advantage of trade opportunities," Bush said in a written statement. "I commend the House and Senate conferees for their leadership in reaching a landmark agreement on TPA, which will open markets, expand opportunity and create jobs for American workers and farmers."
"The House has shown a commitment to getting something done on behalf of the American people, and I urge the Senate to vote on this good bill before the Senate goes home for the August recess," said the President.
The House narrowly passed the trade bill 215-212 in a vote early Saturday morning on the bill that labor unions had opposed, saying some past trade agreements had eliminated jobs in the United States in favor of overseas labor.
Bush headed Saturday to Andrews Air Force Base in Greenbelt, Maryland, to play golf with three congressmen who were instrumental in TPA's passage. As Republican Reps. Dan Burton, Michael Oxley and Tom Delay teed off with Bush, the president said he was "celebrating the passage of Trade Promotion Authority."
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