On trade, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and President Obama are all hoping that the second time will be the charm.
What the three leaders have before them is a complicated maze of bills and political alliances that if properly navigated could give all three one of their biggest victories of this congressional session, not to mention the fulfillment of a major campaign promise that gave McConnell his majority: passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty with a dozen Asian and Pacific countries.
After failing to pass two of the preliminary measures through both chambers last month, Boehner and McConnell agreed to try again, this time breaking up the bills into separate votes, while promising passage of both.
The House provided a small glimpse at victory Thursday, passing one of the four trade bills, Trade Promotion Authority, which allows Congress to approve the so-called "fast-track" deal without amendments, acknowledging that any changes could destroy the 12-nation agreement. That legislation now heads to the Senate, where around a dozen Democrats will be needed to send the bill to the president's desk. A procedural vote is expected Tuesday.
For now, Senate Democrats are staying mum on how they'll vote. Fourteen of their members voted in May to proceed with TPA when it was still attached to the Trade Adjustment Assistance bill, which would provide assistance to workers hurt the trade agreement. Boehner and McConnell vowed last week that they would bring up and pass TAA shortly after clearing TPA through Congress, but pro-trade Democrats in the Senate must now decide whether they can take the Republican leaders at their word.