The Obama administration made a last-ditch effort Thursday to convince skeptical Democrats to vote for a fast-track trade bill.

The two sides are now wrangling over a handful of small provisions. One concerns how Republicans’ plan to address Democrats’ objections to using Medicare cuts to offset the cost of providing financial assistance to people hurt by international trade pacts.

As the Post‘s Mike DeBonis and Paul Kane report:

“Late Wednesday, House Republican leaders unveiled a series of procedural maneuvers calibrated to address the Medicare concerns, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday the fix was satisfactory … But key anti-trade-deal Democrats said Wednesday that the sort of Medicare fix proposed by Republicans would not pass muster.”

The assistance provision must pass first in order to proceed to votes on the main bill, DeBonis and Kane write.

A provision excluding public employees from receiving benefits is another source of conflict.

Again from DeBonis and Kane:

“[Speaker John] Boehner said that questions about having public-sector workers covered by the program made little sense given that no government worker had previously qualified. ‘I think this is a red herring being raised by some [Democratic] colleagues,’ Boehner said, suggesting union leaders were searching for any reason for Democrats to take down the legislation.”