WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama added a visit to Capitol Hill to his Friday morning schedule, to meet with House Democrats as he hunts for elusive votes for his Asian-Pacific trade deal.
Last night, Obama made a surprise visit to the Congressional Baseball game in Nationals Park — where Democratic and Republican men slug it out — in an effort to win a few more Democratic votes.
The showdown votes are Friday afternoon in the House and in an interesting alliance, it’s Obama and the Republicans against most House Democrats — including his usually diehard supporters, the Illinois Democrats.
Except for Rep. Mike Quigley D-Ill., Illinois Democrats in Congress are not backing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact Obama is seeking or giving him the power to fast-track the deal.
The Obama White House needs a chunk of Democratic votes — about 20 — to secure the fast-track Trade Promotion Authority and to get the TPP approved. Republicans are expected to provide the majority of the support.
Last Month, the Senate approved giving Obama “fast-track” authority to negotiate new trade pacts — with only two votes to spare.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who is very close to Obama, voted no; Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., voted yes.