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.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.