Waiting For Pelosi

For Most Of The Year, Speaker Pelosi Has Insisted The House Is Close To Passing The USMCA Trade Agreement ‘But, Month After Month, This Happy Talk Has Seemingly Led To No Tangible Progress’


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “For months, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have been claiming they notionally support this agreement and want to get to ‘yes.’ But, month after month, this happy talk has seemingly led to no tangible progress, just more heel-dragging. Hardworking Kentuckians -- people like our farmers and our cattlemen -- keep writing to me, asking Congress to pass the USMCA. But Speaker Pelosi won’t make time for it. House Democrats have enough time to continue their three-year-old obsession with impeaching the president, but they cannot find the time to pass a landmark trade deal that would create 176,000 new American jobs. Just saying their priorities out loud indicates how backwards they are.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 11/12/2019)


For More Than 9 Months, Speaker Pelosi Has Said She’s ‘Optimistic,’ That The House ‘Is On A Path To Yes’ And ‘[W]e Want To Pass This Bill,’  But There Is Still ‘No Outcome In Sight’

SEN. McCONNELL: “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.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 11/20/2019)

FEBRUARY 7th: HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): “The concerns that we have about, and hopefully they’re resolvable, because I’m optimistic always with the ­– what are we calling it now, U.S., Mexico, Canada … I believe that the committees of jurisdiction, that being the Ways and Means Committee, largely, will be having sessions with Members so that Members can see what is in the legislation, what we’d like to see in the legislation and how we can be supportive. I have always thought that this was probably one of the easier trade agreements to come to agreement on, but, so far, we’re not there yet.” (Speaker Pelosi, Press Conference, 2/07/2019)

APRIL 4th: SPEAKER PELOSI: “I’m hopeful that we could get a trade agreement, but it has to be one that is real and that works.” (Speaker Pelosi, Press Conference, 4/04/2019)

MAY 15th: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leaders are increasingly optimistic they can get to a yes on the new North American trade pact … Pelosi and House Democratic leaders reiterated that they want to support the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, but first need the administration to address a host of issues …” (“Democrats More Optimistic On Future Of Trump’s New NAFTA,” Politico, 5/15/2019)

MAY 30th: SPEAKER PELOSI: “We all agree that we must replace NAFTA … We have been on a path to yes, but it must be a path that leads to an agreement that delivers positive results for American workers and farmers.” (Speaker Pelosi, Press Release, 5/30/2019)

JUNE 11th: “House Democrats are expressing optimism as they begin what could be the final stage of negotiations to approve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement … ‘We want to be on a path to yes,’ Pelosi said at a Peterson Foundation event Tuesday, stressing the need for strong enforcement.” (“Democrats Signal Hope for Passing New North America Trade Accord,” Bloomberg News, 6/11/2019)

JUNE 20th: SPEAKER PELOSI: “We’re hopeful on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. We’re working in a positive way.  We’re optimistic.  I’m hopeful.  We want to be on a path to yes.” (Speaker Pelosi, Press Conference, 6/20/2019)

JUNE 27th: SPEAKER PELOSI: “[H]ere’s the thing – on the subject of U.S., Mexico, Canada … as much as possible, we are trying to keep the discussion on track and on schedule…. I had the Ambassador Lighthizer yesterday with the Caucus to again narrow in on where our concerns are…. [W]e want to pass this bill…. And I’m hoping that we can do it.  As I say to the President, to the Administration, you have leverage.  We want to change NAFTA…. I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to do something.” (Speaker Pelosi, Press Conference, 6/27/2019)

SEPTEMBER 26th: SPEAKER PELOSI: “Let me just say, in case anybody’s interested, we’re moving ahead on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.  We’re again hoping to be on a path, a continuing path to yes.” (Speaker Pelosi, Press Conference, 9/26/2019)

OCTOBER 3rd: “The war over impeachment has hastened House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s determination to approve a trade deal with Mexico and Canada …” (“The Trade Deal That Might Survive Impeachment,” Axios, 10/03/2019)

OCTOBER 17th: SPEAKER PELOSI: “We’re still at work on the U.S.?Mexico?Canada Trade Agreement and making progress every day on our path to yes, but we’re not there yet…. I can honestly say that I think every day we’re becoming closer…. But we feel very good about being on a path to yes.  We’re not there yet …” (Speaker Pelosi, Press Conference, 10/17/2019)

NOVEMBER 1st: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said President Donald Trump’s new Nafta agreement is the ‘easiest trade deal that we’ve ever done.’ ‘We’re on a path to yes, and I think every day brings us closer to agreement,’ Pelosi told a roundtable with Bloomberg reporters and editors on Friday…. Pelosi said Democratic negotiators and the Trump administration are close to making final fixes to the accord …” (“Pelosi Calls USMCA ‘Easiest Trade Deal,’ Could Get Vote in 2020,” Bloomberg News, 11/01/2019)

NOVEMBER 14th: SPEAKER PELOSI:[W]e are moving positively in terms of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement…. I do believe that if we can get this to the place it needs to be, which is imminent, that this can be a template for future trade agreements, a good template.” (Speaker Pelosi, Press Conference, 11/14/2019)


‘Some Democrats … Are Getting Anxious As Negotiations Drag Into Yet Another Month’

“A group of battleground House Democrats on Thursday staged a dramatic show of support for President Donald Trump’s NAFTA update at a special caucus meeting on the issue, upping pressure on Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the final stretch of negotiations. The moderate Democrats privately worked to rally support for the trade deal ahead of the caucus-wide discussion, encouraging each other to show up and voice support for the deal, according to multiple people familiar with the conversations.” (“Battleground Democrats Make USMCA Push Amid Impeachment Furor,” Politico, 11/14/2019)

  • “More than a dozen of the most vulnerable Democrats — mainly freshmen — used the meeting to stress the pact’s importance in their districts, [Rep. Henry] Cuellar [D-TX] said…. ‘I have to hand it to them. They were very forceful,’ Cuellar said, adding that he urged a lot of USMCA supporters to speak up in the meeting. ‘I think it’s going to give us ... momentum.’” (“Battleground Democrats Make USMCA Push Amid Impeachment Furor,” Politico, 11/14/2019)

“The push during the caucus meeting marks the latest sign of moderate House members growing agitated over the lack of movement to get the deal passed.” (“Battleground Democrats Make USMCA Push Amid Impeachment Furor,” Politico, 11/14/2019)

BIPARTISAN HOUSE PROBLEM SOLVERS CAUCUS: “For the good of the American people, and a strong economy, the Problem Solvers Caucus believes both sides of the aisle should find a way to unite together behind passage of USMCA…. Given the impact on our economy, we request a timely vote on USMCA.” (Rep. Reed, Press Release, 11/14/2019)


The Washington Post Editorial Board Calls On Speaker Pelosi And Democrats To ‘See The USMCA Through To House Passage’ Because It’s In The Country’s Interest

THE WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL BOARD: “On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) … gave her strongest signal yet that the House Democratic leadership is close to a deal with the White House that would enable the passage of Mr. Trump’s update to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)…. This is a tribute also to the several dozen moderate members of her caucus, many first-termers elected from swing districts, who recognize that it is in their interest — as well as the country’s — to preserve stability in the hemispheric economy.” (Editorial, “Pelosi Hints That A USMCA Deal Might Be Near. It’s A Wise Move For Democrats.,” The Washington Post, 11/17/2019)



Related Issues: Free Trade