U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement Monday after the President finally submitted the pending free trade agreements to Congress for a vote:
"After almost three years of delaying these job-creating agreements with Panama, Colombia and South Korea, it's good to see the President finally follow through on his rhetoric and send them to Congress. Submission of these long-delayed deals is welcome news to those Americans looking for work and to job creators who have waited too long for fair access to these foreign markets. I have long supported these three deals, which were originally negotiated during the last administration, and look forward to passing them through the Senate in short order. As required under the Trade Promotion Act of 2002, I intend to introduce these bills tonight with Senators Hatch and Baucus so that they will receive fast-track protections."
Background: Last week, Sen. McConnell and 10 of his Republican colleagues, including Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), sent a letter to the President urging him to submit the pending trade agreements to Congress for a vote. The following is an excerpt from the letter:
At a time when unemployment is at 9.1%, there is no reason to delay action on these measures that members of both parties agree will create jobs. Submitting the free trade agreements to Congress is a concrete step you can take to help the American economy recover. We urge you to take that step immediately. Once you submit these agreements, we are confident that they will be quickly considered and approved by a bipartisan majority in both houses of Congress.