US Republicans want deal on Commerce to move forward accord with Panama
Trying to ramp up pressure on the White House to move forward on a trio of trade pacts, Senate Republicans said that they would block confirmation of a new Commerce secretary until President Obama submitted trade deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama for ratification.
Leading Republicans said they had commitments from 44 Republican senators, more than enough to filibuster any nominee for the Cabinet post being vacated by Gary Locke.
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, a former Bush administration trade representative, said Republicans were acting to encourage the administration to advance trade deals the president supports.
Original source: New York Times