Welch votes with majority of House to put off vote on trade agreement

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Congressman Peter Welch, and New Hampshire’s Carol Shea-Porter and Paul Hodes voted with the majority of the House to effectively deny President Bush a vote any time soon on a free trade agreement with Colombia, a key South American ally.

The House voted to eliminate a rule forcing it to vote on the trade agreement within 60 legislative days of when the president submits it to Congress.

Bush sent the agreement to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, starting a 90-day clock for the House and then the Senate to either approve or reject the pact.

The House action in all likelihood kills consideration of the Colombia agreement this year, leaving it for the next administration.

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