Key Democratic senators back plan for trade legislation

Wyden speaks with reporters as he arrives for the weekly Democratic Caucus policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in WashingtonBy Richard Cowan and Krista Hughes WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate is headed toward showdown votes this week on legislation key to a Pacific trade pact, with some Democrats essential to passing the measure vowing to support it again and others undecided on whether to change their votes to oppose the bill. Four of 14 Democrats who last month backed a bill to streamline, or fast-track, the passage of trade deals through Congress said they would again vote “yes” on the measure, which has divided their party and put most congressional Democrats at odds with President Barack Obama, also a Democrat. The legislation would let lawmakers set objectives for trade deals such as the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) but restrict them to a yes-or-no vote on the final deal.

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