U.S. Republicans claim enough votes to pass fast-track trade bill

McConnell departs the Senate floor after a vote at the U.S. Capitol in WashingtonBy Doina Chiacu WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top Republicans predicted on Sunday that both chambers of Congress would muster the votes to pass the “fast-track” authority sought by President Barack Obama to negotiate major trade deals, despite opposition from Obama’s fellow Democrats. We’ll pass it later this week,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said in an interview with ABC. Republican U.S. Representative Paul Ryan said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he was confident the measure would also pass the House of Representatives. “We will have the votes,” said Ryan, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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