“Slow down the fast track to get a better deal for the America people,” the California lawmaker said in a speech on the House floor moments before a pair of showdown votes.
Republicans command a majority in the House, and Speaker John Boehner and the GOP leadership have worked with Obama to pass the legislation. But there were enough defections among Republican lawmakers that Obama needed the support of two dozen or so Democrats to prevail.
Pelosi spoke a few hours after escorting Obama into a closed-door meeting of the party rank and file where he urged fellow Democrats not to torpedo legislation that would let him complete global trade deals that Congress can approve or reject, but not change. The measure is commonly known as “fast-track” for the powers it bestows on the president.