The Senate passed legislation today that would sanction China for manipulating the value of its currency, although the fate of the bill remains uncertain.
The measure passed with bipartisan support, 63-35. However, House Republican leaders have made clear their opposition to the bill and have given no indication that they are willing to give it a floor vote.
Additionally, President Barack Obama has yet to voice his support, suggesting during a news conference last week that he had concerns about whether the legislation would run afoul of international trade rules.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor pressed the White House today to clarify Obama’s position on the Senate legislation.
“The debate would be well-served by the White House stepping up and indicating where its concerns are,” the Virginia Republican told reporters at his weekly pen-and-pad. “It’s very critical that they lead on this.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown, who sponsored the Senate bill, applauded its passage today.
“We are in [a] trade war. But today we’re fighting back with one of the biggest bipartisan jobs bill the Senate has seen this year,” the Ohio Democrat said in a statement. “Today, we put American workers and American manufacturers first by standing up to the Chinese.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.