It’s hard to imagine a more vivid or disturbing illustration of the situation in Washington, D.C. than what we have seen in Congress. While Democrats have kept up their never-ending crusade to remove President Trump from office, Republicans are helping the president fulfill yet another promise to the American people.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., finally abandoned her perplexing strategy of withholding the politically motivated articles of impeachment her party approved without a single Republican vote ending nearly a month-long delay. Democrats were downright giddy, and Pelosi herself marked the supposedly “solemn” occasion by handing out golden pens on silver platters to commemorate the historic moment.
While Pelosi’s hand-picked impeachment managers anxiously waited in the wings for their chance to formally present the articles to the upper chamber, though, the GOP-majority Senate was attending to more important business: approving the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a bipartisan measure that Pelosi had kept in legislative limbo for even longer than she impounded the articles of impeachment.
The 89 senators who voted to send the USMCA to the president’s desk for a signature didn’t have much chance to revel in that accomplishment the way their House colleagues did after finalizing impeachment. Almost as soon as they finished voting, the lead Democratic impeachment manager, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., took the floor to recite his party’s partisan and highly politicized charges against President Trump.
House Democrats were well aware that cheering for impeachment would make for bad optics, but they just couldn’t help themselves — after all, this is something most of them have been trying to achieve from the moment Donald Trump took the oath of office. Conversely, the Senate’s approval of the USMCA came with little fanfare, even though it’s one of the most consequential deals ever negotiated on behalf of the American people.
The USMCA corrects some of the most glaring deficiencies of NAFTA, eliminating or updating provisions that had placed American workers at an artificial competitive disadvantage for decades. Once the new agreement takes effect, it is projected to boost GDP by nearly $70 billion and support the creation of 176,000 new jobs across the United States.
The few Democrat senators who voted against this landmark trade deal are ideologues and hardcore partisans such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., both of whom defended their opposition to the USMCA by complaining that it failed to include provisions for combating climate change. Sanders added in a complaint that the USMCA failed to sufficiently protect workers — in Mexico, all the jobs and economic growth that will benefit American workers be damned. And this communist-supporting socialist is one of the leading Democratic candidates for president.
With the additional tax revenue from nearly 200,000 new gainfully-employed workers and tens of billions of dollars in new business revenue, perhaps Sanders and Schumer could have convinced Congress to set aside a few more dollars for their various solar panels or electric vehicle subsidies, which could have addressed their climate concerns without requiring them to vote against a deal that promises substantial benefits for hard-working Americans. Unfortunately, too many of today’s Democrats are more interested in waging war against President Trump than advancing the interests of their own constituents.
And, by the way, the USMCA provides significant protections for Mexican workers and has union support. NAFTA, which it is replacing, provided none.
Anyone who watched the Senate’s relatively brief session on Jan. 16 saw a clear example of the differences that separate our two main political parties. Republicans are committed to governing the country effectively by implementing common-sense policies such as the USMCA, while Democrats remain hopelessly preoccupied with an impeachment farce and their insatiable desire to seize power and bring down a duly elected president.
In the election later this year, it’s an image voters would be wise to keep in mind.