Democrats’ Impeachment Obsession Has Left Congress With An Overload of 11th-Hour Legislation
‘Finally, after weeks of pressure from Republicans and from hard-working Americans across the country, Speaker Pelosi backed down yesterday and announced she’ll let the House vote on President Trump’s USMCA. Democrats have stalled this agreement for so long that it is now impossible for the USMCA to become law in 2019 -- especially given all the other urgent things they’ve stalled right alongside it. Democrats have simply run out the clock.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the week’s business and impeachment:
‘It’s no secret that Washington Democrats have been itching to impeach President Trump since the moment he took the oath of office. Remember the Washington Post headline on Inauguration Day in 2017: “The Campaign to Impeach President Trump Has Begun”.
‘Just a few months later, in April 2017, one leading House Democrat had already made up her mind. She declared she would, quote, “fight every day until he’s impeached.”
‘As an aside, this same senior Democrat is one of the committee chairwomen that Speaker Pelosi asked to help lead the impeachment process. She was literally standing at the Speaker’s shoulder as she announced yesterday that she’ll bring two articles of impeachment up for a vote. Yet she’d had her mind made up more than two years ago, long before this supposedly fair inquiry. Sort of emblematic of their whole process.
‘Yesterday, House Democrats announced they will rush ahead and prepare to send the Senate articles of impeachment based on the least thorough and most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history.
‘Well, the House Democrats’ denigration of their solemn duty will not cause the Senate to denigrate ours. If the House continues down this destructive road and sends us articles of impeachment, the Senate will take them up in the new year and proceed to a fair trial.
‘Now in the meantime, our colleagues’ obsession with impeachment has left us with a host of important bipartisan legislation that is still unfinished at this late date.
‘For months, Senate Republicans have been calling on our Democratic colleagues to go beyond picking fights with the White House and actually legislate for the American people. But practically the entire autumn, our Democrat friends’ political calculation seemed to be that these vital pieces of business could wait until the eleventh hour because impeachment was the higher priority. And wait they have.
‘Finally, after weeks of pressure from Republicans and from hard-working Americans across the country, Speaker Pelosi backed down yesterday and announced she’ll let the House vote on President Trump’s USMCA.
‘Democrats have stalled this agreement for so long that it is now impossible for the USMCA to become law in 2019 -- especially given all the other urgent things they’ve stalled right alongside it. Democrats have simply run out the clock.
‘And assuming that House Democrats send us articles of impeachment next week, a Senate trial will have to be our first item of business in January. So the USMCA will continue to be a casualty of Democrats’ impeachment obsession for several more weeks before we can turn to it. But I’m glad the Speaker is finally beginning to bring her USMCA obstruction to a close.
‘As we triage in the coming days, Republicans hope we’ll be able to pass not only the NDAA conference report, but also government funding legislation that allocates taxpayers’ hard-earned money to urgent federal priorities.
‘The NDAA has consistently brought members from across the political spectrum together, with good reason: it’s Congress’s opportunity to set priorities for the U.S. military of the future. The NDAA helps guide the Pentagon’s investments in modernization and readiness, cutting-edge weapons and capabilities, and in servicemembers and military families.
‘And I’m grateful for the efforts of Chairman Inhofe and Ranking Member Reed, who made compromises from the beginning and worked hard to ensure the conference report remained true to the 58-year tradition of a bipartisan bill that prioritizes our military and sets aside unrelated partisan priorities.
‘I cannot say the same about the Democrats in the House, unfortunately. But I hope they will learn from this year’s difficult path to a conference report. And next year, I hope they can produce a bipartisan bill from the beginning that puts our national security interests first.
‘Now, obviously, that authorizing legislation should be paired with the appropriations measure that will actually fund our servicemembers’ tools and training and enable our commanders to plan ahead.
‘I’m grateful for the hard work of Chairman Shelby, his counterpart in the House, and our subcommittee chairs to reboot a stalled appropriations process and try to get bills over the finish line in the short time that remains.
‘To be frank, only a laser focus from both parties and both chambers on getting results will create a path to pass appropriations bills this year. There simply is not time left for my Democratic friends to continue haggling over the exact kinds of poison pills, partisan policy riders, and presidential transfer authorities that the Speaker and the Democratic Leader explicitly agreed months ago would be off the table.
‘The White House, Republican leaders in both chambers, and Democrat leaders in both chambers all agreed to these parameters -- literally pledged in writing that these kinds of partisan roadblocks would be kept out of the process.
‘So if all parties honor what they agreed to, we should still have an opportunity to agree on government funding in time to make law this month. Now that our Democratic colleagues are back at the table, Senate Republicans stand ready to do all we can in the time we still have. Let’s end this legislative year on the right foot. Let’s deliver for our all-volunteer armed forces and for families across our country.’
Related Issues: Appropriations, America's Military, USMCA, NDAA