Trump Gets a Big Win on USMCA

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House Democrats have finally signaled approval of Trump’s trade deal. Will it haunt Democrats at the ballot box in 2020?

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President Donald J. Trump listens as Senator Ted Cruz delivers remarks at a roundtable on empowering families with education choice Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in the Cabinet Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

The Holliday season is suddenly upon us in Washington.

The National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony has been held, the White House Christmas decorations are up. The National Menorah has been lit. The first snow of the winter season has fallen.

Under Donald Trump’s Christmas tree this year, he is likely to find a giant present, gift wrapped by none other than House Democrats, to go along with the lump of impeachment coal delivered to him by same.

Just in time for the festive season, actual articles of impeachment have been drawn up by Rep. Jerry Nadler’s Judiciary Committee. Most elected Democrats, and most Democratic voters, are all-in on impeachment.

Independents, Republicans, and moderate Democrats from swing districts, less so.

The Democratic Party’s drive to impeach isn’t exactly a news flash.

Impeachment efforts began well before this particular president even took office. This time last year Democrats were burning Robert Mueller prayer candles, not to mention singing and dancing about him on a Saturday Night Live soundstage.

Congressional Democrats have now signaled that, should Donald Trump win re-election, they will continue with impeachment efforts after this one dies in the Senate.

What is news, however, is that after weeks of testimony, a well of digital ink on the subject, and many talking heads assuring Americans that this is serious, serious, serious; a majority of voters are not supportive of Democratic efforts to remove an opponent president this close to an election.

No one on either side of the aisle, or anywhere on Earth for that matter, thinks that the Republican majority Senate will remove Donald Trump from office. The only question is whether Republican Senators will opt to keep two of Trump’s chief political rivals in the 2020 race- Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren- tied up in a lengthy show-trial.

Republican Senators are probably weighing that decision even now, planning ways to use the Senate trial against the field of Democratic contenders for Trump’s job.

This includes, of course, the likelihood of former President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter, being called to testify before the Senate about Burisma, Ukraine, and anything else Republican Senators feel like asking about.

House Democrats will soon pay for the liberties they took during the early days of their own impeachment inquiry, when selectively leaked testimony temporarily swayed public opinion on impeachment.

Now that opinion has swung back the other way and Republicans will soon have the upper hand.

With some moderate House Democrats from swing districts Trump won in 2016 pleading with their colleagues in the House to bump impeachment down to censure, the Democratic case is looking weaker by the moment.

At the end of the day, when the dust settles on Ukraine, President Donald Trump will maintain his office. This is all most voters will remember come next November.

With impeachment falling apart at the seams, it was likely with a heavy heart that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi turned her attention Monday to the long-neglected USMCA trade agreement.

While House Democrats have been dragging their feet on calling for a vote on USMCA, the Trump campaign has been constantly reminding voters that the U.S. economy would be in even better shape with the passing of USMCA.

Meanwhile, Republican senators under bombardment from journalists desperate to get a single one on the record supporting impeachment have wasted no opportunity to complain about House Democrats holding up USMCA.

Whether House Democrats have done so because impeachment is taking up so much oxygen in Washington at the moment, or to avoid giving Trump a victory lap this close to the election is anyone’s guess.

House Democrats would likely give other reasons, and those reasons might be true. But to imagine that impeachment optics and the 2020 election looming ever-larger did not play any role in the delay is impossible; voters simply won’t believe it.

What voters will believe is what they can see with their own eyes.

The staggeringly good November jobs report blew away expectations and left more than a few economic prognosticators flummoxed and speechless. Unemployment is at a historic low, for almost everyone except journalists, and it’s getting lower all the time.

Employers are having a great deal of difficultly filling open positions, with Amazon raising their minimum wage to $15; Bank of America to $20.

Wage gains have benefitted the lowest income earners the most.

With the passing of the USMCA- which may happen as soon as December 18 according to House Democrats- it is estimated that another 176,000 jobs will be created, with a corresponding bump in wages.

The success of the U.S. economy since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed is a cornerstone selling-point of the Trump re-election campaign. Democrats running against Trump aren’t talking much about the economy, except to say how much they’d like to completely overhaul it.

It is undoubtably a bad time for Democrats to allow Trump to add $68.2 billion to the U.S. economy, this close to the Election Day. But the timing couldn’t be better for the American people.

The U.S. economy will grow stronger upon the passing of Trump’s USMCA, and whether or not that hurts Democrats at the polls, passing it was the right thing to do for House Democrats.

(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)

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