Environmental groups in the U.S. are asking Republican leaders not to take up a controversial trade bill, saying that it could jeopardize the “spirit of bipartisan unity” in Congress. The bill would grant the president the authority to negotiate trade agreements and prevent Congress from amending them; lawmakers could merely vote yea or nay on the pacts. Enviros fear that environmental concerns would receive short shrift in such a framework. But the Bush administration wants the fast-track trade legislation approved so that it can advance the North American Free Trade Agreement and move forward with its agenda at the World Trade Organization meeting next month in Qatar.