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The stalemate over a proposed free trade deal with Colombia has thrown a wrinkle into a lobbying campaign by business groups who want Congress to approve it. Last week, a House vote froze a 90-day clock that would have forced the deal to the floor. Shortly before that, officials at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had held a press briefing to say they were planning a multimillion-dollar advocacy campaign to push the agreement through. Then, the game changed. The move by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) means Congress no longer has to hold a vote before the August recess. Christopher Wenk, a Chamber lobbyist working on the campaign, says the group will continue mobilizing the business community through ads, events around the country, and other grass-roots strategies. In the meantime, he’s hoping Congress and the White House work out a deal. “Once the dust settles from this week, we’ll just urge everybody, let’s roll up our sleeves and find a way to move forward,” Wenk said.
Carrie Levine can be contacted at [email protected].

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