Progressives on Monday criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for reportedly leaving a broadly popular bill boosting union membership on her desk for months while pushing for the passage of one of President Donald Trump’s legislative priorities, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, by Christmas.
“I don’t know exactly what the holdup is,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapa (D-Wash.), a co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, “it is taking longer than it should given the number of co-sponsors that we have.”
Pelosi’s decision to push the USMCA forward while leaving the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, or PRO Act, on her desk since it passed out of committee on September 25 was the subject of an article by Rachel Cohen at The Intercept Monday morning.
“If you want real strong worker excitement that will get union activists excited for 2020, this is what we need to get it; the PRO Act is really it,” @dan_mauer of CWA said. “We absolutely think this is a key thing, not just legislatively but politically.” https://t.co/dc7GHfE2CN
— Rachel Cohen (@rmc031) December 2, 2019
According to Cohen’s reporting, the USMCA is seen by moderates as a good example of bipartisan compromise leading up to the 2020 election while labor is antagonistic to the bill:
Centrist Democrats have been insisting privately that a quick passage for the trade deal is necessary for moderate members of Congress to win their competitive reelections in 2020, to show they can “do something.” Unions have made clear, though, that from their perspective, USMCA lacks real labor enforcement mechanisms, which could undermine the whole deal, further drag down wages, and eliminate more jobs.
The PRO Act, on the other hand, is a bill with appeal across the party, with 215 House co-sponsors.
“Many other bills have come to the floor with fewer co-sponsors than this one,” Jayapal told The Intercept.
Nevertheless, Pelosi is letting the PRO Act sit on her desk, a decision that left journalist Ryan Cooper frustrated.
“Grinding my teeth so hard they snap off at the roots,” tweeted Cooper.
— ryan cooper (@ryanlcooper) December 2, 2019
It’s not the first time Pelosi’s leadership of a Democratic-controlled House has led to the shelving of labor-friendly legislation. In 2009, the chamber failed to pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which would have passed through the then-Democratic Senate and ended up on President Barack Obama’s desk.
The parallels to this House bill are clear, The District Sentinel cohost Sam Knight said on Twitter.
“In 2009, EFCA was cosponsored by a majority of members when Dem leaders refused to even bring it up for a vote,” said Knight. “Pelosi is so utterly devoted to serving her donor class friends.”
DSA organizer Margaret McLaughlin did some math to figure out how she felt about implications of Cohen’s reporting.
“Handing Trump a USMCA win without any strong labor enforcement mechanisms + not passing the PRO act which would sail through the House = gonna give me an aneurysm,” said McLaughlin.
Trump announces Rudy Giuliani ‘wants to go before Congress’ and testify about his Ukraine dealings
President Donald Trump on Saturday said that his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, wanted to testify before Congress.
Speaking to reporters as he departed for a Republican fundraiser in Florida, Trump praised the former New York City mayor.
"Rudy, as you know, has been one of the great crime fighters of the last 50 years," Trump said of his lawyer, who is reportedly under federal investigation for breaking the law.
"And, he did get back from Europe just recently and I know -- he has not told me what he found, but I think he wants to go before Congress and say, and also to the attorney general and the Department of Justice," Trump said.
GOP governors are refusing to do Trump’s bidding and ducking him on the campaign trail: report
On Saturday, Maggie Haberman of The New York Times profiled how President Donald Trump is having less luck whipping Republican governors into line than Republican senators, including governors who arguably owe their election to his support.
"In Florida, Mr. Trump’s aides helped save the flailing candidacy of Ron DeSantis in the 2018 Republican primary, and then the general election," wrote Haberman. "Also last year, in Georgia, Mr. Trump helped pull Brian Kemp over the finish line in both the primary and the general election. In both cases, Mr. Trump’s advisers implored him to stay out of the primaries, and he agreed to — only to surprise his aides by jumping in to support Mr. DeSantis and Mr. Kemp."
Courts have avoided refereeing between Congress and the president — Trump may change all that
President Donald Trump’s refusal to hand over records to Congress and allow executive branch employees to provide information and testimony to Congress during the impeachment battle is the strongest test yet of legal principles that over the past 200 years have not yet been fully defined by U.S. courts.
It’s not the first test: Struggles over power among the political branches predate our Constitution. The framers chose not to, and probably could not, fully resolve them.