McConnell Tells Democrats “Time to Act on USMCA”

Much of Washington, D.C., is consumed with questions about Ukraine and the impeachment inquiry. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell publicly scolded Democrats’ handling of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement.

Politico says McConnell wants House Democrats to pass the North American trade agreement, noting that “the time for excuses is over.” Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell said Democrats continued objections to the new pact are nothing more than “heel-dragging.” He says the delay is because of the House impeachment inquiry and related investigations.

“Canada, Mexico, and millions of Americans are waiting for Speaker Pelosi to remember that serving the public interest requires more than just picking fights with the President,” McConnell said. His comments come after House Democrats pledged last week that the newly-launched impeachment inquiry will not affect their ability to work with the administration to negotiate changes in four key areas of the agreement with our North American trade partners. Those areas include labor, the environment, access to medicines, and enforcement.

Texas Democrat Henry Cuellar said he expects Congress to vote on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement in either November or December. The Hagstrom Report reported that House Democrats consider that vote to be contingent on Mexico agreeing to spend more money on enforcing labor provisions in the agreement. Cuellar is one of the more vocal Democrats advocating for passing USMCA.