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D.C. Insider Howard Paster Dead At 66

WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 (UPI) — Longtime Washington lobbyist and Clinton administration aide Howard Paster has died in Baltimore at the age of 66, his family announced.

Paster, who was President Clinton’s liaison with Congress during the debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement, succumbed to encephalitis at Johns Hopkins Hospital last week.

Paster was credited with helping push NAFTA through Congress against stiff opposition in the early 1990s, The New York Times said Sunday. He engineered support with deals for farmers and promises of job-training programs for U.S. workers.

“The horse trading is nothing but people defending their constituent interests, and that’s an entirely appropriate thing for them to do,” Paster said later.

The Times said Paster had less success with other Clinton economic stimulus proposals, which included public works projects and extension of unemployment benefits.

Paster honed his lobbying skills as a congressional staffer, a lobbyist for the United Auto Workers and chairman of the public relations giant Hill and Knowlton.

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