Democrats Cannot Let Impeachment Crowd Out Basic Governing Duties
‘Democratic leadership are continuing to delay a bipartisan agreement over appropriations. Even now, at the 11th hour, they are still threatening to potentially tank the process and force another continuing resolution… I urge the Democratic leadership to let the committees do their work, let the Congress do its work, and let us pass bipartisan funding bills next week.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding legislative priorities:
‘As I said, the Democrats’ fixation with impeachment has pushed crucial governing priorities into the 11th hour.
‘Just yesterday, after months of delays and hostage-taking, House Democrats finally approved an NDAA conference report. Next week the Senate will pass it and send this overdue legislation to President Trump’s desk. But of course, we need to follow up defense authorization with defense appropriations, so that we actually supply the funding that our servicemembers need to carry out their missions and our commanders need to plan for the future.
‘And it’s not just defense funding that has been hampered by Democrats’ impeachment obsession and reluctance to do anything bipartisan. All federal funding has been jeopardized by the House’s procrastination. That includes critical domestic programs with implications for every one of my colleagues and all of our constituents.
‘Yet even today, even at this late date, Democratic leadership are continuing to delay a bipartisan agreement over appropriations. Even now, at the 11th hour, they are still threatening to potentially tank the process and force another continuing resolution. The story is the same as it’s been for months. Partisan policy demands. Poison pills.
‘Exactly the playbook that the Speaker of the House and the Democratic Leader had explicitly promised months ago, in writing, that they would not use to sabotage appropriations.
‘Let me say that again. The Speaker of the House and the Senate Democratic Leader explicitly promised last summer, in writing, that they would not use poison pills or changes to presidential transfer authorities to sabotage the appropriations process. And yet, even in mid-December, they are still using those tactics to jeopardize all our progress.
‘But it does not have to end this way. I know earnest discussions are still underway as our colleagues in both chambers work to fix this. I urge the Democratic leadership to let the committees do their work, let the Congress do its work, and let us pass bipartisan funding bills next week.
‘While we hold out hope for a breakthrough in appropriations, we already know there has been one major casualty of Speaker Pelosi’s impeachment obsession: Congress’s ability to pass the president’s USMCA deal this year.
‘It was more than a year ago that President Trump first signed the draft agreement with the leaders of Canada and Mexico. More than 12 months. That’s how long House Democrats dragged their heels on the USMCA and kept 176,000 new American jobs on ice.
‘Now, at the 11th hour, Speaker Pelosi has finally realized it would be too cynical and too nakedly partisan to allow her conference’s impeachment obsession to kill the USMCA entirely. So after a year of obstruction, she finally gave in to Republican pressure and struck a notional deal with the White House.
‘But actions have consequences. That entire calendar year that House Democrats wasted has consequences. The Speaker’s action was so belated that the administration is still in the process of writing the actual bill. We don’t even have a bill yet. Once a bill is produced, the House has to take it up first.
‘And then, under the Trade Promotion Authority that exists to protect the deals that presidents negotiate, after House passage, the bill spends up to 15 session days in the Senate Finance Committee. And then, after that, there’s up to 15 session days for the Senate to vote on the floor.
‘So unfortunately, the Speaker’s 12 months of delay have made it literally impossible for the Senate to take up the agreement this year. And if House Democrats send us impeachment articles, those have to come first in January, so the USMCA will get pushed back yet again.
‘Like I said, actions have consequences. There is just no way the Senate can make up for 12 months of House Democrat delays in just a couple of days.
‘Governing is a question of priorities. Speaker Pelosi failed to make this trade deal a priority for an entire year. And we are now bound by the time requirements of TPA to protect the agreement in the Senate.
‘Speaking of priorities, listen to what the House Democrats are prioritizing. Listen to what they’re doing today while all of this crucial legislation goes unfinished.
‘More Judiciary Committee hearings about impeaching the president… And on the floor, a vote on yet another far-left messaging bill with literally no chance of becoming law.
‘They’re spending floor time on their socialist scheme to micromanage Americans’ prescription drugs and put the federal government in charge of the medicines so many people rely on.
‘The Speaker wants to take us down the road of nationalizing an entire industry and imposing Washington D.C.’s stifling influence on the life sciences sector that produces lifesaving cures.
‘Never mind the fact that this far-left messaging bill has zero chance of passing the Senate and that President Trump has already threatened to veto it.
‘We know by now that political performance art takes precedence over bipartisan legislation where this Democratic House has been concerned.
‘Well, I hope these stunts come to an end soon. I hope the House finds time to finish negotiating must-pass government funding bills in good faith. I hope our Democratic colleagues join Republicans at the table and get the American people’s business done.’
Related Issues: Appropriations, NDAA, USMCA, Senate Democrats