Washington (CNN)A free trade initiative that is pitting President Barack Obama against his own party cleared a major procedural hurdle in the Republican-controlled Senate on Thursday.
The 62-38 vote to end debate on the bill, moving it toward a final vote, was a victory for Obama, who had linked with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, to push the bill despite opposition from Senate Democratic leaders.
McConnell said he's willing to consider a host of amendments that Democrats are poised to offer later Thursday.
"This last vote was a major step forward on this important legislation," said Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Republican who sponsored the bill.
The Senate is now set to vote on changes to the bill, including one that would force the Obama administration to use trade deals to crack down on countries that manipulate the value of their currencies to give their exports a price advantage in the United States — an amendment the White House opposes because it would add a huge new complication into trade negotiations.
The Race is on, the hurdle cleared and the fast track completed in record time. Secret deals and back room stabbings coming. War is on COTO.
Get ready for more terror than you could ever imagine..