So to the surprise of many observers, House Democrats prioritized defeating Trade Promotion Authority over preserving Trade Adjustment Assistance, and by combining with conservative Republicans to kill the latter unraveled the Senate deal that passed the former. That’s the most succinct description I can think of to describe what happened on the House floor this afternoon.

The only actual roll-call count I’ve seen is the 302-136 vote against TAA, with no partisan breakdowns just yet. The House subsequently passed a free-standing TPA measure–no roll-call tally on that one yet–but it would have to be passed again by the Senate because it lacks the TAA lubricant, and it’s generally thought that would be unlikely.

If that’s the way the whole TPP saga ends, then the happiest person in politics may be Hillary Clinton, who can now (a) evade pressure to take a position on the agreement, and (b) make a pledge, if she wishes, to negotiate some kind of pan-Asian deal that’s more congenial to Democratic constituency groups and to liberal economists, if there’s any such thing.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.