McConnell rips House Democrats for holding up USMCA trade deal

McConnell rips House Democrats for holding up USMCA trade deal
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: Trump resists pressure for nationwide stay-at-home order | Trump open to speaking to Biden about virus response | Fauci gets security detail | Outbreak creates emergency in nursing homes McConnell: Pelosi trying to 'jam' Senate on fourth coronavirus relief bill On The Money: House Dems push huge jobs project in wake of coronavirus | Trump leans on businesses in virus response | Lawmakers press IRS to get relief checks to seniors MORE (R-Ky.) ripped House Democrats on Wednesday, arguing they were holding President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign: Trump and former vice president will have phone call about coronavirus Esper: Military personnel could help treat coronavirus patients 'if push comes to shove' Schumer calls for military official to act as medical equipment czar MORE's trade deal with Canada and Mexico in perpetual limbo. 

McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor, noted that House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSchumer calls for military official to act as medical equipment czar Overnight Health Care: Trump resists pressure for nationwide stay-at-home order | Trump open to speaking to Biden about virus response | Fauci gets security detail | Outbreak creates emergency in nursing homes McConnell: Pelosi trying to 'jam' Senate on fourth coronavirus relief bill MORE (D-Calif.) was "always close to allowing a vote" but had so far not done so. 

"Speaker Pelosi has refused to allow a vote," he said. "In public, House Democrats insist and insist and insist that they care about more things than simply impeaching the president. They insist that they want to work together and legislate. But actions speak louder than words."

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McConnell's speech is the latest instance of the Senate GOP leader blaming the slow pace of legislation on Capitol Hill on the House impeachment inquiry, where Democrats are investigating whether Trump tied Ukraine aid to the country opening up an investigation into former Vice President Biden and his son Hunter Biden. 

McConnell added on Wednesday that "it appears there's no governing priority, no matter how bipartisan, no matter how beneficial to American families, that will not take a back seat to impeachment."

McConnell's comments come after President Trump lashed out at Pelosi over the trade deal in a tweet, saying "Nancy Pelosi will go down as the least productive Speaker of the House in history." 

But Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan KudlowMORE, the White House's top economic adviser, said he was "very optimistic" about the chances of a deal, and Pelosi said last week that an agreement was "imminent."  

Other Democrats were more skeptical, saying that they were moving closer but that they wouldn't say a deal was "imminent."

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McConnell added on Wednesday that Democrats had been saying they were close for months, but that it hadn't yet resulted in a deal. 

"This has been the House Democrats' wild goose chase. ... Every time the Trump administration meets the Speaker halfway, she tries to move the goalpost another 10 yards," McConnell said. 

McConnell added that the trade deal is "House Democrats' final exam for their whole first year in power. And unless something turns around very quickly, after nearly a year of happy talk and empty promises, their leadership seems determined to flunk that exam."