The House of Representatives passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Thursday, the measure that is poised to replace NAFTA.
The USMCA will, in part, require most vehicle parts to be manufactured in North America and mandate that 40 to 45 percent of automobile parts be made by workers who earn at least $16 an hour by 2023. It could boost GDP by up to 1.2 percentage points and add 588,900 jobs, according to the International Trade Commission.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scheduled the Senate vote on the USMCA for after Christmas, a schedule which some Democrats protested.
Today, the House will approve the USMCA trade agreement, a deal that's good for Iowa farmers, manufacturers, & workers.— Rep. Cindy Axne (@RepCindyAxne) December 19, 2019
But the Senate has already decided to leave town for the year without a vote on it.
Yesterday, I let them know that was unacceptable.https://t.co/OACzDeNCbB
But there's a method to McConnell's madness. And it has to do with the Democrats' delays.
“Unfortunately, the speaker’s 12 months of delay have made it literally impossible for the Senate to take up the agreement this year," McConnell said Thursday. "And if House Democrats send us impeachment articles, those have to come first in January, so the USMCA will get pushed back yet again."
In other words, the majority held the measure hostage for months.
Pelosi finally announced that the Democrats had reached an agreement with the White House on trade just over a week ago. She painted it as a bipartisan win, but it came an hour after she held a separate press conference about impeaching the president.
The House voted in favor of impeaching Trump on Wednesday. Pelosi currently threatening to withhold the articles of impeachment from the Senate.