House panel to hold hearing, vote on Trump's new NAFTA proposal

The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a markup of President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed MORE’s proposed North American trade deal update next Tuesday, setting up a Thursday vote by the full chamber.

Ways and Means members are likely to approve the deal, called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), by a wide bipartisan margin. The House is scheduled to vote on the deal Thursday, a day after Democrats are expected to pass articles of impeachment against Trump.

House Democrats on Tuesday reached a deal with Trump to pass the USMCA after securing stronger labor law enforcement provisions, stricter environmental safeguards and the removal of language sought by pharmaceutical companies to protect patents for high-cost drugs. 

While Trump and House lawmakers are eager to pass USMCA by the end of the year, it is unclear when the deal will clear the Senate. Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSherrod Brown backs new North American trade deal: ‘This will be the first trade agreement I’ve ever voted for’ McConnell: Bevin pardons ‘completely inappropriate’ House panel to hold hearing, vote on Trump’s new NAFTA proposal MORE (Ky.), have grumbled about provisions added to secure the support of labor unions and the Democrats close to them.

McConnell also said Tuesday that it would not be possible for the Senate to take up the USMCA until the chamber finishes Trump’s impeachment trial. The Senate is expected to spend most of January on Trump’s obligatory trial, but the process could drag longer if senators allow witnesses to be called or expand the scope of the hearings. 

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