The Senate on Monday voted overwhelmingly to proceed on a measure that would up the pressure on China to allow its currency to appreciate, clearing the way for a final-passage vote later this week on the bill, which has received a cool reception from both the House and the Obama administration.
Monday’s final roll call vote was 79-19, with two senators not voting. Among the 19 no votes were 16 Republicans and three Democrats.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said earlier Monday that he expected the chamber to wrap up its work on the measure by the end of the week. But House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has declined to say whether the lower chamber will take up the bill, and the White House — which has expressed opposition to previous congressional efforts on the currency issue — has yet to weigh in on the latest measure.
Supporters of the bill, S. 1619, say that the measure would lead to the creation of as many as 1.6 million jobs. Opponents argue that diplomatic action, rather than legislation, is the best way to address the currency issue.
The 16 Republicans voting against the bill were Sens. Roy Blunt (Mo.), Dan Coats (Ind.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Jim DeMint (S.C.), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Mike Lee (Utah), Dick Lugar (Ind.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), Dean Heller (Nev.), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).
The three Democrats voting no were Sens. Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.) and Patty Murray (Wash.).