American Families, Job Creators Waiting on Speaker Pelosi to Allow USMCA Vote
‘One of the major priorities that Kentuckians mention is the USMCA. I’ve heard it from our farmers, manufacturers, logistics providers, and bourbon distillers. Almost every sector of our economy would benefit from this trade deal…House Democrats have preferred to block 176,000 new jobs for American workers rather than put impeachment aside and get along with the White House for five minutes. It appears there is no governing priority - no matter how bipartisan, no matter how beneficial to America
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor urging House Democrats to pass the United States of America, the United Mexican States, and Canada trade agreement (USMCA):
“Earlier this week, I got to attend the Kentucky Electric Cooperatives’ annual meeting. The group represents 26 co-ops across Kentucky, particularly in rural communities.
“We talked about the positive trends for what you might call ‘middle America’ over the past several years—the nascent economic turnaround in the small towns, small cities, farm country, rural America, and other places the Obama economy largely left behind.
“And we also talked about the work still ahead. One of the major priorities that Kentuckians mention is the USMCA. I’ve heard it from our farmers, manufacturers, logistics providers, and bourbon distillers. Almost every sector of our economy would benefit from this trade deal.
“Together, Canada and Mexico make up a $500 billion export market for the United States. This major update to our trading framework with our neighbors would send that number even higher, generate more wealth here at home, and create an estimated 176,000 new American jobs.
“It’s no wonder that so many Kentuckians and so many people around the country want Washington to get it done.
“I hear from everybody from family farming operations to mid-size manufacturers to Fortune 500 firms like UPS and Toyota that employ thousands and thousands in my state. All of them want this fairer, better playing field in trade with Canada and Mexico.
“In a little more than one week from now, it will have been a full year since President Trump signed the draft agreement, along with the leaders of Canada and Mexico. One full year.
“But for months now, this generational agreement has been sitting on ice over in the House of Representatives. Speaker Pelosi has refused to allow a vote.
“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. And apparently, thus far, House Democrats have preferred to block 176,000 new jobs for American workers rather than put impeachment aside and get along with the White House for five minutes.
“It appears there is no governing priority – no matter how bipartisan, no matter how beneficial to American families – that will not take a backseat to impeachment.
“Month after month, every time she’s been asked about this subject, the Speaker of the House has offered the same empty rhetoric.
“She’s always close to allowing a vote. Her conference is always almost there. But we’ve been almost there for months and months with no outcome in sight. Lots of talk; zero results.
“Back in February, the Speaker was asked about the USMCA, saying, ‘I’m optimistic.’ That was February.
“We heard the same thing in May…and in June: ‘We want to pass this bill.’
“We heard the same thing through the summer…and in September...and in October: ‘Every day we’re becoming closer.’
“A few weeks ago the Speaker said ‘I think we are close…the last mile’ and called this ‘the easiest trade deal that we’ve ever done.’
“And just a few days ago, the Speaker insisted, yet again, a vote was ‘imminent.’
“This has been the House Democrats’ wild goose chase. This is what our American families, American job creators, and our partners in Mexico and Canada have had to put up with.
“Every time the Trump administration meets the Speaker halfway, she tries to move the goalposts another 10 yards. And she literally has not even updated her own talking points since Valentine’s Day. Textbook obstruction.
“Just in case anybody did not yet understand that the real roadblock here is partisan politics, I understand the Speaker hosted Richard Trumka yesterday, the head of the AFL-CIO, a power player in left-wing Big Labor.
“He came to the Capitol to try to quell the uprising of Democrats’ own members who can’t believe this thing still hasn’t passed.
“How ironic. We’re talking about a trade deal that would create more American jobs, and Democrats are considering outsourcing their judgment to Big Labor special interests — who, to my recollection, have not supported a single major trade deal in living memory.
“Here we are, talking about a trade deal, and Democrats are considering outsourcing their own jobs to the head of the AFL-CIO.
“I wish I were making this up. Reporters got ahold of the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee yesterday and he literally said the deal would move forward, ‘if we can get Richard Trumka to agree.’
“Let me say that again. The Chairman of Ways and Means literally said this major trade agreement will only move forward if this major Democrat campaign contributor gives them permission.
“Well, it appears that even some House Democrats are getting fed up with the absurdity. Here’s what one of them said yesterday: ‘[Trumka] still says we’re at the five yard line...So it feels like we’ve been at the five yard line for a while.’
“This is the biggest opportunity House Democrats have had, in the entirety of their first year in power, to do something significant and substantive for American families. To actually pass something new and real that can become law and strengthen our nation.
“In other words, the USMCA 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.
“All impeachment, all the time, and even the most obvious win for American workers and small businesses gets blocked. That will be Democrats’ progress report if the USMCA goes nowhere.
“Well, I sincerely hope that is not how this story ends.
“Mexico has passed this. Canada is waiting on us. I believe a bipartisan majority in the Senate are ready to pass it.
“Our workers, our job creators, and our neighbors are just waiting on Speaker Pelosi.
“This is no time to kill a national victory out of political spite. This is no time to outsource your judgment to special interests. The Speaker should allow a vote and the House should send us the USMCA.”
Related Issues: Jobs, Free Trade, Economy, Small Business