Time is running for Congress to pass the Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Reuters reports:
Republicans pressured U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday to set a vote on a free trade pact with Colombia, which they said would die if Congress does not approve it this year.
“If the 110th Congress adjourns without a vote in both the House and the Senate, the agreement will be well and truly dead,” senior Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Rules Committee said in a letter to colleagues.
Bush submitted the agreement under White House trade promotion authority, a law passed in 2002 which required Congress to vote approve or reject trade agreements within 90 days and without making any amendments.
However, Pelosi pushed through a rule change allowing her to delay action indefinitely on the pact.
The House also voted 414 to 10 on Wednesday to approve a Republican-crafted amendment commending Colombia for its July 2 operation that freed 15 hostages, including three Americans.
“The Colombians are winning their internal war against the guerrillas and paramilitaries that have plagued the country for half a century,” House Republican Whip Roy Blunt said in a statement that attributed a share of that success to the $5.5 billion in U.S. aid for Colombia since 2002.