USMCA advances from committee to House for vote

Grace Segers

While the House Rules Committee engaged in a lengthy hearing on the articles of impeachment against President Trump, another committee advanced one of the president's key priorities, setting the stage for Mr. Trump to be both impeached and granted a legislative victory within two days.

The House Ways and Means Committee passed a motion recommending the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, commonly known as USMCA, to the floor for a full House vote. The motion passed by a bipartisan voice vote.

The House is expected to approve the trade agreement on Thursday, the day after it vote on the impeachment articles.

House Democrats announced that they reached a deal on the replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement last week. Democratic Congressman Richard Neal of Massachusetts, the leader of the Ways and Means Committee, heralded the deal as "transformative," and said the agreement is a "triumph for organized labor" and "for workers everywhere across America."

House Democrats had been negotiating with the Trump administration for months over the terms of the USMCA, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised Democrats Tuesday for securing stronger labor, pharmaceutical, environmental and enforcement provisions.

The USMCA vote will cap a busy week for the House. The House approved two massive appropriations bills funding the government on Tuesday, in addition to the upcoming impeachment and USMCA votes later in the week.

Pelosi told reporters last week that it was not a coincidence that impeachment and USMCA were being discussed at the same time. Asked by CBS News' Nancy Cordes about this, Pelosi replied, "No, it's not a coincidence. It's just that as we get to the end of a session, there have to be some decisions made. The timetable for impeachment is the timetable for the committees, and that came to an end with the hearing yesterday."

Trump slams impeachment in 6-page letter to Pelosi

House Rules Committee debates terms for impeachment

Democratic debate to take place Thursday after labor deal reached