Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, reported this week that he talked to President Obama by phone on Monday in an effort to break a deadlock over trade promotion authority (TPA), according to Bloomberg. Senator Hatch sought the president’s help because Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), the Senate Finance Committee’s top Democrat, is seeking a provision that would weaken the bill to grant the president TPA

Trade promotion authority allows the president to submit trade agreements to Congress for a quick up-or-down vote in which amendments are not allowed. TPA is intended to strengthen the president’s hand in negotiations by ensuring Congress will not unravel deals. President Obama wants the authority to help complete the Trans Pacific Partnership with 12 Asia-Pacific nations this year.

“We’ve given them all kinds of changes,” Hatch told reporters Tuesday. “We’ve reached the point where I’m not going to diminish the workability of TPA.”

Senator Hatch said the president told him that the White House is encouraging Wyden to find an agreement. Senator Wyden told reporters Tuesday that he met with President Obama on trade last week at the White House, but declined further comment.