Congressman Darin LaHood says that impeachment is hindering Congress from doing any meaningful work. The House Judiciary Committee is holding its second impeachment hearing today. Lawyers from the House Intelligence and House Judiciary Committees are scheduled to make their case for or against impeachment. LaHood says that it’s holding up four major pieces of legislation that have bi-partisan support yet to be called to the floor for a vote: “First and foremost, USMCA – our largest trade agreement ever negotiated between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada is sitting on [Nancy] Pelosi’s desk, but we can vote on it because of impeachment. Secondly, bringing down the high cost of prescription drugs. It’s something that I hear all the time, whether it’s in Jacksonville or Quincy or Peoria or Springfield. We have not brought down legislation to the floor on that. Thirdly, fighting the opioid epidemic. It’s a problem that effects rural and urban folks everywhere across the country. Lastly, a federal infrastructure bill. We’ve been talking about this for the last three years straight. We have a proposal out there, but we can’t work on that when we’re dealing with impeachment.”
LaHood says that he has not heard of support for impeachment in his district with the people that he’s talked to. “People back home see impeachment as a ‘nuclear option.’ There must have been something done that was treasonous, real high criminal activity. There is no smoking gun. There’s nothing that connects here. The bottom line our Constitution is predicated on the people should have the power. We are going to have an election in Illinois. You can early vote less than 10 months from right now. If you don’t like the president, you’re going to be able to vote for somebody else. It shouldn’t be 535 partisan members of Congress deciding to nullify an election. It should be the people deciding that.”
LaHood says that impeachment is a political proceeding rather than a legal one, and he places the blame on lack of other work on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. LaHood says that Canada and Mexico passed their parts of the USMCA over a year ago, but the speaker has refused to call it for a vote in Congress.
LaHood says its unfortunate that the House cannot multi-task while the impeachment hearings play out. The House Judiciary Committee is hearing two reports: one report from three other panels that found President Donald Trump solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election, and another about the constitutional basis for impeachment during today’s hearings.
An anonymous aide told the Associated Press yesterday that House Democrats had agreed to a rewrite of the USMCA, but formal reviews as well as a roll call still needs to take place before vote on the trade deal can take place.