Exclusive — Pence Chief Marc Short: Democrat Impeachment Agenda Handing House Back to GOP in 2020

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 07: White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short speaks to members of the media as he leaves a Republican conference meeting June 7, 2018 on Capitol in Washington, DC. House GOPers gathered to discuss immigration. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, told Breitbart News he thinks Democrats’ failure to pass any legislation out of the U.S. House since they retook the majority and instead pursuing an impeachment agenda is making it a lot easier for Republicans heading into the 2020 congressional elections.

Currently, Democrats sit in 31 districts that President Donald Trump won in 2016, 13 of which Trump won by six percent or more. In addition to those 31 Trump seats in which Democrats currently sit, there are another approximately 20 House battleground districts expected to potentially be competitive races in 2020. For the GOP to retake the House majority a year from now in the November 2020 congressional elections, Republicans would need to take a net gain of only 19 seats.

Short laid out on Breitbart News Sunday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel this weekend how he believes that Democrats are making it easy for the GOP to hyper-focus on these particular districts by abandoning legislation that would help American workers and families and instead pursuing an agenda of impeachment fueled by hatred of President Trump. Pence has been traveling to each of these 31 districts, his chief Short said, making the case to the people there that Democrats have abandoned them and laying out the strengths of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement as well as other policy priorities of the Trump administration.

“I think that net 19 is a tough swing, but I think the Democrats are doing everything in their power to make it possible,” Short said. “I think that by pursuing endless investigations and impeachment that is going nowhere in the Senate, you’re essentially telling the voters that you wanted to do politics and you didn’t want to do legislation that is important. So, going back to USMCA which as you said is important, the Vice President has traveled to Collin Peterson’s district and made the case for agricultural export. We’ve traveled to Wisconsin in particular where there’s huge benefits for dairy in this. Previously, dairy products had not been allowed into Canada—they had barriers for entry. This deal opens up our dairy products. We traveled to the San Joaquin valley in California, where they do a lot of exporting of agricultural products into Mexico. Additionally, we’ve traveled to the midwest and Michigan, where this new deal provides a lot of new protections for autoworkers and auto manufacturers, because as you know many of those jobs have gone south of the border to Mexico, and this new deal provides protections on how the wages would be equal for Mexican workers and American workers. And, as you said, this weekend—just yesterday in fact—the Vice President was in Virginia in the district of Abigail Spanberger. That’s one the president won by six and a half points, it’s the old Eric Cantor and then Dave Brat district. It should be a Republican district. It’s important because it’s not just an agricultural district, but many of their products make their way down to Tidewater and then are exported out of that port. That’s the case that we’ve been making, and we need to continue to highlight that to the American people.”

Short argued that the unpopularity of the Democrats’ impeachment agenda—an abandonment of their 2018 campaign promises on health care, infrastructure, trade, and basically everything else to pursue an effort to remove the duly elected president of the United States from office—was on display on the floor of the House last week when the Democrats finally held a vote on their impeachment inquiry. Republicans were unified against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry vote, but Democrats lost two members—Reps. Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ) and Collin Peterson (D-MN)—to the GOP side on the floor vote. In other words, the only bipartisan vote on the impeachment inquiry was against it—and Democrats’ efforts are now demonstrably purely partisan.

“I think it was important for Republicans to be united on this vote,” Short said. “I think that we talk a lot about how the Democrats have denied the White House due process and often there isn’t a format to explain that, so just for a quick second, for your listeners, I think it’s important they understand the reason we call it a Star Chamber is because they’re not allowing the White House to see evidence, they’re not allowing the White House to present evidence, they’re not allowing the White House to call its own witnesses, they’re not allowing the White House to have White House counsel present during these depositions or so-called hearings. The reality is, we know that the leader of this committee, Adam Schiff,, has lied to the American people not just in the fake transcript that he read but also when he said there had been no contact between his office and the whistleblower, but then we find out they actually coached the whistleblower on how to present a case. So, there is enormous concern about the process, and I think that’s what kept Republicans together.”

Moving forward, though, Short sees the GOP unifying behind the president even more—and hammering the Democrats’ baseless arguments on the substance of the allegations, not just the process.

“In terms of the next phase of this, I think you’ll see Republicans hold together actually on the evidence, because the reality is the president, as far as any sort of coverup, the president provided the transcript open to all the American people to read for themselves to recognize that there was no quid pro quo, and the reality was that the funding that Congress appropriated was given to Ukraine,” Short said. “I think it’s appropriate for any president to have concerns when there’s as much financial corruption in Ukraine to make sure that there are safeguards in terms of the funding that’s going to be going to them and also express concerns as he has many times that European allies are not doing their fair share to protect Ukraine from Russian aggression. I think it was important for Republicans to stick together, and the fact that it was bipartisan with two Democrats coming over to the Republican side and voting against the impeachment inquiry. There’s two very different members there—one is a freshman [Jeff Van Drew], but the other is Collin Peterson who’s been in Congress for 30 years. He’s chairman of the Agriculture Committee, therefore he more or less is in Nancy Pelosi’s leadership team. He represents a northern Minnesota district that Donald Trump carried,, but he’s also somebody who’s got a lot of time in Congress and recognizes what a sham this is. I think it’s important that your listeners understand it was not just two simple Democrats—one of them was very senior.”

A very important message that Short said the White House and congressional Republicans intend to zone in on is the fact that Democrats have failed to pass any legislation of substance whatsoever since retaking the House majority in 2018 in the midterm elections. Democrats, Short noted correctly, made bold promises on things like health care, infrastructure, the economy, benefits for American workers and families, and more. But, since taking the majority, Pelosi and her Democrats have abandoned what they campaigned on to instead pursue impeachment—something of which the Republicans, Short said, intend to make sure the public is acutely aware.

“I think that as we highlight what the Democrats are doing, we need to spend at least as much time highlighting what they’re not doing, because when they went to the voters in the midterm elections as you said they made a lot of promises,” Short said. ”They said they’d promise to fix drug pricing and to fix the healthcare system and to bring down healthcare costs—they even said they would fix immigration. They said they would fix infrastructure. They made a lot of promises. The reality is this president made historic achievements in his first two years working with a Republican House and Republican Senate in rebuilding our military, in confirming a record number of judges including two U.S. Supreme Court Justices, in making significant improvements to our economy including on anti-regulatory legislation as well as the historic tax cut, and actually legislation to begin building the wall. Unemployment now at a 50-year-low, I think a lot of that is attributed to what has the president accomplished in his first two years. But as you know, he’s not a traditional Republican president and he’s said there’s several areas where he wanted to work with Democrats—one of them is on infrastructure. Another is on drug pricing. His hand has been open to find ways to work together. The Democrats so far have refused to want to do that, and instead they’ve wanted to pursue endless investigations. One of the talking points I hear out of Congressional Republicans is to say that these Democrats have issued more subpoenas than bills they’ve passed. It’s a good point. But it even distorts it, because the vast majority of bills they’ve passed have been things like renaming post offices.”

Short noted that Pence, the Vice President, has been traveling in strategic fashion to highlight this case to the public in each of those 31 districts Democrats represent that Trump won in 2016.

“About six months ago, the Vice President very strategically said ‘look, let me travel to these 31 House seats that Donald Trump won in 2016 but are now represented by a Democrat and let me make the case as to what they’re not accomplishing,’’ Short said. “I think that one of the first and foremost things people can see the Democrats not accomplishing is trade, the USMCA. This president negotiated a deal with Mexico and Canada, completed the negotiation many months ago, and it’s ready to be brought up in Congress. We believe we have the votes to pass it already in the House. We have the votes in the Senate. The only question is the Speaker of the House gets to determine when she brings it up for a vote in the House. The reason she’ll bring it up is if enough Democrats put pressure on her and say, ‘look, I campaigned on working with the president and with Republicans and I’ve got nothing to show for it.’ So, first and foremost, I would tell you would be trade legislation. But right now, we’re about to enter into another process on appropriations bills without Congress passing bills to fund our government. Primary among those I think is a need to fund our military. Here we are going to be approaching again at the end of November once again the possibility of a shutdown. If we don’t get a shutdown, and we get a continuing resolution, it’s not passing new legislation that sets new parameters for what the funding should be. It’s been 22 years since Congress completed appropriations bills on time, and once again this year they will fail.”

One big thing that Pelosi is currently blocking that would by all estimates pass the House right now if she called it for a vote is the USMCA, which would create nearly 200,000 new jobs. Short said that Pelosi is the only person blocking the USMCA, as the votes are there for it in both the House and the Senate and all that stands in its way now is the Speaker has to schedule a vote—something she continues to not do as of this writing.

“Even by conservative estimates, it’s forecast to create 175,000 new jobs and tens of billions of dollars of additional revenue to America and the GDP,” Short said. “We think that the president’s, this historic run we’ve had in our economy with 50-year lows in unemployment as I said but also all-time record lows for Hispanic Americans, all-time record lows for African Americans, and all-time record lows for Asian Americans, it’s a remarkable story—but the next thing we need to keep the momentum going is to complete some of these trade deals. This is one where the president did his job. Now it’s up to the Speaker of the House to bring it up. And to your question on these trade deals, the process is it must initiate in the House. The Senate is ready to go, but they can’t go until Nancy Pelosi passes it out of the House.”



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