by Charles Babington, CNSnews:
In a triumph of divided government, the Republican-controlled Congress passed major trade legislation Wednesday that was long-sought by President Barack Obama but vehemently opposed by most lawmakers in his party.
The measure to strengthen Obama’s hand in global trade talks cleared the Senate on a vote of 60-38, and will go to the White House for his signature — less than two weeks after it was temporarily derailed in the House in an uprising of Democratic lawmakers who argued it would cost American jobs.
A companion bill, to renew an expiring program of federal aid for workers disadvantaged by imports, passed by voice vote less than an hour later. Final approval in the House is expected on Thursday.
The rapid sequence of events capped the end of a back-and-forth struggle that played out slowly over months, with Obama, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on one side, and the union-backed Democratic leadership of the House and Senate on the other.
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