From: John King/CNN White House Correspondent
Subject: Clinton To Meet with advisors To Step Up Push For Fast-Track Authority
President Bill Clinton plans to meet with economic and political advisors this afternoon to discuss a revised administration plan to push for House passage of legislation granting the president fast-track authority to negotiate free trade deals.
His advisors met earlier in the day and some progress was reported in winning Democratic votes, although several sources said it remained an uphill fight because of the aggressive opposition of House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.).
Administration officials are seeking Clinton's blessing for a proposal that would establish worker training and other economic displacement assistance for areas where it is determined the economy suffered because of competition from international markets.
Officials tell CNN this package is critical to attracting additional votes in the House, but must be tailored in a way that does not draw Republican objections.
Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin presided over the morning advisors' meeting on the issue, which included planning for a Friday event at which Clinton will make another major public push for fast track authority.
Administration officials are debating how blunt Clinton should be in challenging his critics. In his final push to win passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993, the president accused labor unions of "running roughshod" over the facts in trying to stir up opposition.
One official involved in the process told CNN, "We want to make a point that we think the criticism is misguided and in many cases unfair, but I wouldn't expect him to go that far again."
In Other News:
Tuesday Oct. 28, 1997
Copyright © 1997 AllPolitics All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this information is provided to you.