The Democratic carnival barkers in the House of Representatives are hoping to be a disruptive force in the upper chamber in the final stretch before elections, placing roadblocks in front of the Trump administration’s important legislative priorities.
They have presided over the least productive House in history and are now hoping to shut down the Senate’s busy legislative agenda using impeachment.
The Senate is expected to approve the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Thursday and send the measure to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature before it turns to articles of impeachment.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky hailed the pact as a “major win for the Trump administration, a major win for those of us who are already ready to move past this season of toxic political noise.”
The new agreement would replace rules for moving products among the three countries which were in place under the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, which had almost completely eliminated tariffs on most goods traded among the three countries.
McConnell has been busy approving various administration nominations and judicial appointments while the House has been almost exclusively obsessed with impeachment since California Democrat Nancy Pelosi took over as Speaker in 2018.
The Senate Majority leader has been aggressively pushing judicial nominations through the Senate. He views a Republican transformation of the courts as critically important to his legacy and Trump’s.
“My motto for the remainder of this Congress is ‘leave no vacancy behind,’” he told radio host Hugh Hewitt in December. “One of every four of the US circuit judges in the country have been put on the bench in the last three years,” said McConnell after he forced a deal with Democrats to expedite 11 federal district judge nominations.
“So we do believe with a second Trump term and a continued Senate Republican majority, we can transform the courts even further.” With their majority, Republicans can defeat Democratic efforts to filibuster or block a final vote on Trump nominees along party lines.
McConnell has been at the forefront of a transformation of federal courts across the country, confirming 187 Article III judges nominated by the president. Trump has also appointed two Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, 50 judges for the United States Courts of Appeals, 133 judges for the United States District Courts, and two judges for the United States Court of International Trade.
There are currently 18 nominations to Article III courts awaiting Senate confirmation, including one for the Courts of Appeals, 16 for the District Courts and one for the Court of International Trade. Democrats have been powerless to stop McConnell and hope that distracting him with impeachment will finally put some impediments in his way.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to advance six more nominations to the Senate floor for final confirmation votes Thursday, including nominees for the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Court of International Trade and federal trial courts in Arizona, Alaska and Missouri.
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California is leading a coalition of left-wing advocacy groups urging Senate Republicans to suspend judicial nominations during the president’s impeachment trial.
She sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and said in a statement Wednesday it would be “wholly inappropriate” to proceed with the confirmation of judges while the trial was ongoing.
“The president is charged with high crimes and misdemeanors, and the Senate must take seriously its constitutional role in this process,” Harris said. “During the time when articles of impeachment are before the Senate, it would be wholly inappropriate to advance the president’s nominees to the federal judiciary,” she claimed.
She pointed out that between the delivery of the Clinton articles of impeachment to the Senate and the Senate’s verdict on Feb. 12, 1999, the Senate Judiciary Committee did not convene any nomination hearings or advance any nominations to confirmation votes. While Senate committees cannot hold votes during impeachment trials, they can hold hearings.
A prolonged impeachment fight over witnesses will only help the Democrats with their game plan. They hope to introduce new evidence in a last ditch effort to convince Americans that Trump should be removed from office.
Hopefully the Senate will shut down their impeachment sideshow expeditiously. They have wasted enough time on impeachment at the expense of taxpayers.