Fast Track Creeps Along

  • Share
  • Read Later
WASHINGTON: Is "Fast Track" finally limping toward the finish line? Tom Daschle's endorsement of the proposed presidential trade power Monday got enough Senate Democrats behind him for a 69-31 procedural vote not to pass it, mind you, just protect it a while.

Knowing that a large chunk of his prestige rides on the measure, President Clinton was pleased by the vote. "If we don't seize these opportunities," he told reporters Tuesday, "our competitors surely will. An 'America last' strategy is unacceptable."

If the White House can protect its votes, Fast Track should pass the Senate eventually. That would set up quite a battle in the House, where Dick Gephardt, flush with support from Big Labor, is determined to hold out against Gore and the rest of the Administration's free-trade crowd. It's too early to pick a winner. But expect a casualty.