Senate Democrats are offering Republicans a deal on a stalled "fast track" trade bill that would eliminate "poison pill" language the GOP opposes.
Democratic leadership aides told the Washington Examiner the proposal would package together four trade provisions but strip out language aimed at curbing currency manipulation by trade-pact nations.
Democratic leaders made the offer hours after their party blocked the Trade Promotion Authority legislation from moving to the floor for debate. Many Democrats oppose TPA in any form, despite heavy lobbying in favor of it by President Obama.
The bill would give the president expedited authority to approve trade pacts with other nations and passage of the measure will help him finalize a major trade deal with 11 pacific rim nations.
Democratic leaders, however, insisted the bill include trade enforcement language as well as a provision granting Sub-Saharan African nations duty-free exports to the United States.
The trade enforcement language guards against currency manipulation, child labor, illegal dumping and other violations of the trade pact. But it was the currency language that Republicans said would doom the bill by blowing up talks on ongoing trade deals with Asian and European nations.
Republicans refused to include the Africa language or any of the trade enforcement measure in the legislation Tuesday, and Democrats responded by blocking the bill.
Democrats are now offering to take out the currency manipulation provision, leaving in the Africa provision and the rest of the trade enforcement language, a Democratic leadership aide told the Washington Examiner.
It's not clear whether the offer will pave the way to getting the bill on the floor for debate, but Republicans signaled that they are encouraged.
"The leader called for getting rid of poison pills," Don Stewart, the spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told the Washington Examiner.