House leaders maneuver to prevent vote on WTO withdrawal



Doug Palmer|Sabrina Rodriguez|Politico

HOUSE LEADERS MANEUVER TO PREVENT VOTE ON WTO WITHDRAWAL: The House is expected to vote today on a rule that effectively kills the chances of a resolution to withdraw from the WTO was introduced by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.).

The House Rules Committee voted 9-4 Wednesday evening to approve a rule for floor action on a number of pending measures, including the WTO provision.

A spokesperson for DeFazio acknowledged the move derailed chances for a vote on his resolution.

“Rep. DeFazio believes this is a missed opportunity for the House to debate the future of U.S. participation in the WTO, a body which has failed our country and serves the interests of Wall Street and multinational corporations, not the interests of working people,” the spokesperson said.

The details: The rule, which is not open to amendment, would waive Section 125(c) of the 1994 Uruguay Round Agreements Act for the remainder of the current Congress. That effectively strips the expedited procedures guaranteeing any withdrawal resolution will reach the floor. Those procedures include a requirement that any resolution is automatically discharged from the House Ways and Means Committee after 45 days.

If approved, the rule could also kill any possibility of the United States withdrawing from the WTO until at least 2025, since both the House and the Senate would have to approve such a measure for withdrawal to occur. In addition, the URAA only provides the opportunity for a vote on withdrawal once every five years.

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