Obama speaks at Mayors Conference in  San Francisco

Congress victory moves Obama's Pacific trade pact forward

Obama speaks at Mayors Conference in San FranciscoBy Krista Hughes and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Legislation vital to securing the largest U.S. trade deal in decades was passed by the Senate on Wednesday by a comfortable margin, advancing President Barack Obama’s efforts to strengthen U.S. economic ties around the Pacific Rim. After a six-week congressional battle including two brushes with failure, some fancy legislative footwork and myriad backroom deals to keep the legislation alive, the Senate voted 60 to 38 to grant Obama “fast-track” power to negotiate trade deals and speed them through Congress.

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