Obama, Ryan Must Find Common Ground Soon

Ryan will seek the House speakership. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

There could be little President Barack Obama can do to find common ground with Paul D. Ryan, given their deep ideological differences and House conservatives’ inevitable demands for the speaker-in-waiting.  

With Ryan's announcement that he will seek the speakership, all eyes now turn to the Wisconsin Republican's ability to manage his fractious caucus and find just enough common ground with a president many conservatives revile. Ryan will have little time to settle in because of some fast-approaching fiscal deadlines. Congressional leaders must find a way in coming weeks to avoid a potentially catastrophic debt default, then see if they can strike a long-term budget deal.  

Trade Deal Announcement Highlights Tobacco Problem (Video) (Updated)

Hatch is expressing concerns about the TPP agreement. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:26 p.m. | Before free trade supporters get too exuberant about the outcome of the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, they might want to listen to the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.  

Utah Republican Orrin G. Hatch told CQ Roll Call Monday he is “leaning against” supporting the deal, particularly over the exclusion of tobacco from certain protections.  

After Trade Triumph, Senate Republicans Look to Rack Up More Wins (Video)

McConnell hopes to pass a bipartisan No Child Left Behind rewrite after last month's trade triumph. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Senate is on a roll — and he wants to make sure it stays that way.  

After reviving Trade Promotion Authority, the Kentucky Republican opted to move next to a bipartisan rewrite of the No Child Left Behind education law in a bid to maintain the chamber's legislative momentum.  

Senate Passes Currency Trade Bill; Boehner Calls It 'Laughable' (Updated)

Boehner dismissed a Senate push to enact new currency enforcement trade measures. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2:49 p.m. | The Senate overwhelmingly passed the currency enforcement and customs trade bill Thursday, but it appears headed for oblivion in the House.  

The currency provisions proposed by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., nearly sank President Barack Obama's trade agenda earlier this week , and now that it remains separate from Obama's push for Trade Promotion Authority, also known as fast track, it may remain little more than a legislative sideshow.  

Senate Reaches Deal on Trade (Updated)

McConnell and Reid announced a deal to move forward on trade bills. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:17 p.m. | Senate leaders agreed to a deal to get President Barack Obama's fast-track trade bill back on track Wednesday, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., offering separate votes first on two bills demanded by Democrats.  

That includes the key customs bill with currency enforcement provisions opposed by the White House, as well as a trade preference bill aimed at helping developing countries. Both will face a 60-vote threshold, with votes planned for Thursday.  

Democrats Filibuster Obama's Fast-Track Trade Bill (Updated) (Video)

Wyden, left, earlier shepherded fast-track through committee, but balked at advancing it on the floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:49 p.m. | The Senate blocked President Barack Obama's top trade priority Tuesday, with the president's own party abandoning him en masse. Many Democrats insisted that several issues be bundled into the so-called fast-track trade authority bill, including a currency-related bill, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., balked, only agreeing to votes on amendments instead.