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McConnell: Senate Won't Vote on USMCA Until After Trial

mitch mcconnell points to his right while speaking to the media during a republican news conference
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Alex Brandon/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 10 December 2019 05:27 PM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday the chamber would not consider the USMCA trade deal with Canada and Mexico until after any impeachment trial of President Donald Trump next year.

"That will have to come up, in all likelihood, after the trial is finished in the Senate," McConnell told reporters at the Capitol.

House Democrats announced they had reached an agreement on the NAFTA overhaul shortly after disclosing the articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — against President Trump.

Congress is to adjourn for the year Dec. 20, The Washington Examiner reports.

"We will not be doing USMCA in the Senate between now and next week," McConnell said.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will brief senators on the trade accord in the coming weeks.

"From my perspective, it's not as good as I had hoped," McConnell told reporters regarding the USMCA. "We'll have to look at the whole package. We'll have to look at the details."

Regarding impeachment, should the House approve the articles announced Tuesday, they will be sent to the Senate for adjudication.

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Judge John Roberts would preside over any impeachment trial, which would be held every day except Sunday until senators vote to convict or acquit President Trump of the articles.

McConnell said the Senate would hear the case House officials present before deciding whether to call witnesses, the Examiner reports.

"Or, it could decide that they've heard enough and they believe they know what would happen and move to vote on the two articles of impeachment," the majority leader said.

Fifty-one Senate votes would be required to acquit Trump — and that would most likely happen, McConnell told reporters.

A two-thirds majority vote of the 100-member Senate is necessary for conviction and for removing Trump from office. Republicans hold a 53-47 majority.

"I said I would be totally surprised if there were 67 senators to remove the president," McConnell said, "and that remains my view."

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The Senate will not consider the USMCA trade deal with Canada and Mexico amid a potential impeachment trail in the senate.
usmca, trade deal, canada, senate, mitch mcconell
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2019-27-10
Tuesday, 10 December 2019 05:27 PM
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