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Fast-Track Trade Authority, A Step Toward Asia Deal, Passes Full Senate

The Senate voted 62-37 late Friday to grant President Obama additional trade powers, which the president plans to use in pushing through an extensive new agreement with a group of Asian countries.

The administration's Trans-Pacific Partnership has been opposed by labor groups and some Senate Democrats because of concerns that the deal could cost some U.S. workers their jobs.

The trade authorities had cleared a hurdle on Wednesday in another vote of the full Senate that closed debate on the bill, preventing filibusters and allowing it to pass Friday night by a simple majority vote.

The bill now moves to the Republican-dominated House of Representatives, where the climate appeared favorable, NPR's Scott Horsley reported late last month.

"Republican lawmakers are generally more supportive of trade deals, and House Speaker John Boehner promised "strong Republican support" for the fast-track bill. Some Tea Party members are wary, however, of giving the president any additional negotiating authority. The more House Republicans that withhold support, the bigger boost Obama will need from his own party."

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