• McConnell: Working With Obama An ‘Out Of Body Experience’

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered rare words of praise for President Obama Tuesday by commending his commitment to free trade despite the opposition of many Democrats.

    “At the risk of having some of you literally faint, I want to compliment the president for the way he’s handling the trade issue,” McConnell said.

    McConnell said the Senate plans to debate legislation that would give President Obama fast track authority over trade negotiation “very soon.”

    “It’s been almost an out of body experience but we’ve been working closely with the White House,” he said. “We’re working together to try to get it across the finish line.”

    “I thought what he did last year in speaking the truth to his base was welcome and shows that he is intent on working with us to get both the Trade Promotion Authority in place and to subsequently approve, hopefully, [the] Trans-Pacific Partnership deal,” he added.

    Obama has said completing the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a top goal during his second term.

    The Obama administration is seeking to build a coalition of mostly Republicans and a few Democrats to back the Trade Promotion Authority bill, would subject trade deals like the TPP to a simple up-or-down vote without amendments. Obama says the ability will help him complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a top second-term goal

    Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid opposes trade authority and called on Republicans to first consider legislation to modify the Patriot Act and U.S. surveillance and extend the funding for federal highways.

    McConnell said Obama is already winning over Democratic support and dismissed Reid’s proposal to delay action. Setting the agenda is “the responsibility of the majority,” he said, “and we’ll be going to do trade promotion authority next.”

    McConnell’s comments came as a surprise to many as his relationship with the president has  been tense since Obama became president. McConnell said in 2010 “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

    Obama joked at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in 2013 that he couldn’t imagine having a drink with the GOP leader.

    “Some folks still don’t think I spend enough time with Congress, ” he cracked. “ ‘Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?’ they ask. “Really? Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?”

    Alicia Powe

    Staff Writer

    Alicia Powe is a staff writer for Daily Surge. She worked in the War Room of the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee and served as a White House Intern during the George W. Bush administration. Alicia has written for numerous outlets, including Human Events, Media Research Center and Townhall.com.

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