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White House: Obama and Pelosi Haven't Spoke Since Trade Vote
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White House: Obama and Pelosi Haven't Spoke Since Trade Vote

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was most responsible for the crushing defeat of President Barack Obama's trade agenda in the House on Friday.

She and Obama haven't spoken since.

Obama has talked to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on "a couple of occasions," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday. White House chief of staff Denis McDonough talked to Pelosi on the phone, but there has been no direct discussion between Obama and Pelosi.

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Still, Earnest wouldn't say Pelosi is on "bad terms" with the White House.

"No I wouldn’t say that at all," Earnest said during the press briefing. "What I would mainly point out is that on the vast majority of issues that this president has prioritized, and frankly on the vast majority of accomplishments that this president is proud of, they all required Leader Pelosi’s help in the House of Representatives. And so, President Obama and Leader Pelosi have demonstrated that they have a strong enough personal and professional relationship to withstand a difference even on an issue like this."

Still, the House vote Friday can't be reconciled in its present form with the Senate trade package, in what Earnest continued to dismiss as a "procedural snafu."

The ultimate issue is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the United States seeks to enter with 11 other countries.

The Senate passed a package pairing Trade Promotion Authority for the president with Trade Adjustment Assistance — government aid for communities negatively impacted by a trade agreement, including job training for workers who lose their jobs if a factory closes. The aid typically makes it easier for Congress to vote for trade authority or trade deals.

Trade Promotion Authority, also known as fast track, allows the president to submit a trade agreement to Congress for a straight up-or-down vote, bypassing an amendment process and making it easier for the executive branch to negotiate international trade deals, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. TPA passed mostly with Republican support. TAA failed in the House with mostly Democratic opposition, led by Pelosi.

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