House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said during a press conference Thursday that she remains skeptical about the House passing the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement this year, as Congress’s lower chamber continues to focus on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
Speaker Pelosi cast doubt during the presser that Congress has enough time to pass the USMCA in 2019.
“I’m not even sure if we came to an agreement today that it would be enough time to finish [this year], but just depends on how much agreement we come to,” Pelosi said.
Last week, she said that a deal on USMCA was “imminent.”
“I’m eager to get this done,” the California Democrat said.
The USMCA’s delayed passage through the House arises as Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) have launched an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
Speaker Pelosi and House Ways and Means chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) will meet with U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer to discuss the Democrats’ remaining concerns surrounding the USMCA.
“I keep telling the freshman class: ‘This is about legislation. It takes time,'” Pelosi said, attempting to reassure frustrated Democrats.
Pelosi’s comments follow the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus’s call for the speaker to hold a “timely vote” on the USMCA. The caucus represents 48 House Republicans and Democrats.
The caucus said last week:
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. We applaud the bipartisan efforts of both Speaker Nancy Pelosi and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on this important agreement that has the potential to bring NAFTA into the modern era, with added predictability and certainty for business growth. We are proud of the work by labor groups, American workers, the business community, and farmers who continue to be a part of the process in this matter.
“Given the impact on our economy, we request a timely vote on USMCA,” the caucus added.