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 McConnellDems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Senate GOP mulls speeding up Trump impeachment trial Republicans will pay on Election Day for politicizing Trump's impeachment MORE (R-Ky.) ripped House Democrats on Wednesday, arguing they were holding President TrumpDonald John TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE's trade deal with Canada and Mexico in perpetual limbo. 

McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor, noted that House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiRepublicans will pay on Election Day for politicizing Trump's impeachment Trump chooses high-profile but controversial legal team Trump: Impeachment timing intended to hurt Sanders 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."