GOP leader says time for haggling over impeachment rules is over

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment Impeachment throws curveball in Iowa to sidelined senators MORE (R-Ky.) fired back at Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Social Security emerges as flash point in Biden-Sanders fight | Dems urge Supreme Court to save consumer agency | Trump to sign USMCA next week Veronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address MORE's (D-Calif.) decision to double down in their weeks-long fight over the impeachment trial and warned he will not haggle with House Democrats.

"I've made clear from the beginning that no such leverage exists. It's nonexistent, and yesterday we made clear it will never exist. ... There will be no haggling with the House over Senate procedure," McConnell said from the Senate floor.

He added that the "House Democrats' turn is over. The Senate has made its decision." 

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Pelosi, in a "Dear Colleague" letter published on Tuesday night, called on McConnell to release the resolution that will detail the rules for the looming trial and warned that she will not send over the two articles until he does.

"It is important that he immediately publish this resolution, so that, as I have said before, we can see the arena in which we will be participating, appoint managers and transmit the articles to the Senate," Pelosi wrote in her letter.

The House passed two articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE last month, one charging the president with abusing his power in his dealings with Ukraine and another alleging he obstructed Congress during its investigation of those actions.

But Pelosi has declined to say when she will transmit them, saying she wants more details on what the Senate trial will look like.

McConnell announced on Tuesday that he has the 51 votes needed to force through the impeachment rules resolutions and punt a decision on witnesses until midway through the trial.

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It’s a blow to Democrats who wanted a resolution at the outset that would address both issues. Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerVeronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats turn to obstruction charge Liberal super PAC to run digital ads slamming Trump over Medicare comments MORE (D-N.Y.) has vowed they will force votes on the floor.

McConnell knocked Schumer on Wednesday, arguing that members of his caucus were "losing patience" with Pelosi. Some Democrats have called on her to transmit the articles.

“The Senate is not a creature of the House. The Democratic leader does not need to continue to be in thrall to the Speaker. ... Stand up for the Senate. Stand up for our institutions. Stand up for the country,” McConnell said.