The Colombia Free Trade Agreement has the votes to pass, says House Minority Leader Richard Boehner, if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would allow the vote.
“I believe there is a majority of the House of Representatives that are in favor of the Colombia Free Trade Agreement,” Boehner said at a news conference with other Republicans.
In a letter to Boehner earlier in the week, Pelosi said the two parties must first come together on a new U.S. economic stimulus plan before she would consider the Colombia pact, reports the Congress Daily. Pelosi has said repeatedly that she wants to see action on an aid package for displaced workers and other measures before she'll allow a vote on the Colombia FTA.
Earlier this month President Bush had sent the U.S./Colombia FTA on to Congress for a "yes" or "no" vote with a 90-day deadline, however, Pelosi held a vote that essentially stopped the “fast-track” timetable. This now gives her the discretion to hold a vote when she sees fit, if at all.
Boehner indicated that the non-votes is costing U.S. exporters $2 million a day in higher tariffs over the 520 days since the agreement between the two countries was signed. The Commerce Department unveiled a “ticker” showing how much money exporters have forfeited in tariffs since then, totaling $980.8 million at the time of the press conference.
Source: Congress Daily