Politics Grassley pins blame on USMCA hold-up on impeachment

22:28  10 january  2020
22:28  10 january  2020 Source:   politico.com

U.S. Senate finance panel to consider USMCA trade pact on Tuesday

  U.S. Senate finance panel to consider USMCA trade pact on Tuesday U.S. Senate finance panel to consider USMCA trade pact on Tuesday

Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley on Friday blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for holding up passage of the new North American trade pact after she held off sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate.

Chuck Grassley, James Risch are posing for a picture: Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley.© Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley.

“After House Democrats delayed passing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement for nearly a year, the speaker’s indecision on impeachment will now keep the trade deal from being ratified for even longer,” Grassley said in a statement.

Pelosi announced Friday that she will send the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate next week. Pelosi had not sent the articles to the Senate in an effort to secure certain guarantees from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Trump’s impeachment trial. Ultimately, McConnell did not agree to any conditions.

What to expect from Congress in 2020

  What to expect from Congress in 2020 Impeachment is far from the only big item on the congressional agenda this election year: Here's a rundown of some of the other issues on deck to grab the spotlight.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., threw Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a curve ball immediately after the pair of impeachment votes on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Weeks later, McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., appear roughly as deadlocked over the parameters of a trial as they did before the holiday recess.

The Senate trial could begin almost immediately after McConnell receives the articles, which would keep the USMCA from being ratified until after the trial is over.

Pelosi’s office pushed back on Grassley’s criticism, noting that the Senate has had ample time to pass the deal since the House passed it on Dec. 19.

“The GOP Senate will have had almost a full month to get its act together to pass USMCA,” Henry Connelly, a Pelosi spokesperson, said in a statement. “After all their grandstanding, turns out Senate Republicans don't actually care enough to get the job done on time.”

The Senate has also been prevented from holding an immediate vote on the pact after its parliamentarian ruled that the pact had to be signed off by six additional committees with jurisdiction over the agreement.

Grassley’s committee already approved the deal in a 25-3 vote. At least five of the six remaining committees are expected to vote on the pact next week.

If all six committees hold markups next week, the pact still could be voted on before the impeachment trial begins. The trade deal is expected to pass with strong bipartisan support.

Trump still planning Davos trip despite impeachment proceedings, predicts trial will wrap quickly .
President Trump on Thursday said he plans to travel next week to Switzerland despite the impeachment trial ramping up at the same time. Calling the impeachment trial he’s facing “a hoax” and saying he believes the Senate will quickly wrap up the matter, Trump said he plans to attend the World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland.“I’m going to be going to Davos,” Trump said following a ceremony honoring Religious Freedom Day. “I’ll be meeting the biggest business leaders.

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