(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Mitch McConnell steps in it on Fast Track.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

IN AN interview with John Harwood, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opened his mouth on Trade Promotion Authority and handed progressives a bombshell. Washington Post’s Greg Sargent caught it right away.

“This is a six-year bill,” he added. “So what I’ve said to my members, if we want the next Republican president, who we hope will be sworn in less than two years from now, to have a chance to do trade agreements with the rest of the world, this bill is about that president as well as this one.” [CNBC]

Greg Sargent is exactly right on the ramifications of Senator McConnell’s words.

But on Fast Track in particular, McConnell — in the course of reassuring Republicans worried about granting Obama vast authority — is basically confirming one element of the left’s concerns: That Fast Track will empower a future GOP president to negotiate terms of a future trade deal with less worry about the ability of Democratic opposition in Congress to stop it. This is a legitimate concern, whatever you think of what it means for Wall Street regulations in particular.