Could Tobacco Carveout Kill TPP?

Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., left, and Richard Burr, R-N.C., are among the senators who want to ensure protections for tobacco exports. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Trans-Pacific Partnership's rocky road in Congress faces a fresh threat from tobacco-state senators.  

A brief trip down memory lane: Trade Promotion Authority passed with 62 votes in June, paving the way for a simple-majority threshold for the 12-nation trade deal.  

Menendez, Rubio Critical of 'Political' Human Trafficking Report

Menendez and Rubio are critical of a new human trafficking report. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two senators say politics are at play in the State Department's announcement that the human trafficking situations in Malaysia and Cuba are improving.  

On Monday, the State Department released its annual Trafficking in Persons Report , bumping both nations from Tier 3 to Tier 2 Watch List, allowing Malaysia to stay in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.  

Senate Votes to Advance Trade Promotion Authority

Cruz tried to slow-track the White House's Trade Promotion Authority bill before Tuesday's roll call vote. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate voted to advance Trade Promotion Authority Tuesday, keeping President Barack Obama's trade agenda on track.  

The TPA vote was always going to be close, and the Senate voted to cut off debate by 60-37 — the bare minimum to advance.  

Senate Trade Promotion Authority Vote a Matter of Trust

McConnell said the votes would be there to pass TAA after TPA passes the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate vote on Trade Promotion Authority will amount to a test of faith.  

In what has become an increasingly complex process, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., last week outlined his plan to send three pieces of the four-piece trade package to President Barack Obama’s desk by the Independence Day recess. But for everything to go according to plan, a dozen or so pro-trade Democrats will have to trust that a vote for TPA will be followed by the approval of Trade Adjustment Assistance for workers displaced by trade, an African trade-preferences bill and a customs-enforcement bill.  

Trade Promotion Authority Clears Senate Hurdle

Coons voted "yes" to on the cloture vote on the TPA package. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama's Trade Promotion Authority package survived a near-death experience Thursday, with the Senate voting narrowly to cut off a filibuster in an extended vote.  

Eight holdouts all voted "yes" at the end after a deal was cut on the Export-Import Bank, after the vote stalled at 54-38 for a significant period of time. The final vote was 62-38, topping the 60 votes needed.