Obama-championed trade bill suffers huge defeat; Earnest calls it a ‘procedural snafu’

The Obama administration suffered a huge defeat Friday when House Democrats rejected a trade bill that was personally championed by the president.

You wouldn’t know it by White House press secretary Josh Earnest, however, who referred to it as a mere “procedural snafu.”

According to Fox News:

In a dramatic defeat for the White House, President [Barack] Obama’s trade agenda ran aground in the House on Friday as Democrats banded together in opposition despite a personal plea from the president.

In a 302-126 vote, the House killed the so-called Trade Adjustment Assistance Bill — a program that would retrain workers displaced by trade. The bill was originally put on the table as a sweetener to help entice recalcitrant Democrats to back the president’s main agenda item, a bill that would give Obama “fast-track” authority to negotiate trade deals. 

But the president’s own party is so opposed to that legislation that Democrats voted down the sweetener. In a major defection for Obama, even House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined the rebellion in opposing TAA minutes before the vote.

Though Pelosi supports the worker aid, she said voting against it was the only way to “slow down the fast track.”

She said the main trade bill would be “stuck in the station” without TAA.

Nonetheless, Earnest tried to spin the stunning defeat as nothing of importance.

“To the surprise of very few, another procedural snafu has emerged. These kinds of entanglements are endemic to the House of Representatives,” he said.

People on social media saw right through that, however.

Nice try, Mr. Earnest, but better luck next time.

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