Ag Policy Blog

More Senate Committees to Mark up USMCA, Delaying Floor Vote

Jerry Hagstrom
By  Jerry Hagstrom , DTN Political Correspondent
The Senate vote for USMCA is likely delayed because now more committees will vote on the trade pact before it comes to the Senate floor. (DTN file image)

Following a Senate parliamentarian’s ruling that several committees in addition to the Senate Finance Committee have jurisdiction over implementing legislation for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade (HR5430), three committees have scheduled markups next week, Washington Trade Daily reported Wednesday.

The Senate Budget Committee has scheduled a markup of the portions of HR 5430 under its jurisdiction for January 14, while the committees on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and Commerce, Science and Transportation both have scheduled markups for January 15, WTD said. The Senate parliamentarian also has ruled that the committees on Environment and Public Works, Appropriations and Foreign Relations have partial jurisdictions over the USMCA, WTD said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he wanted to hold the trial on the House’s articles of impeachment of President Donald Trump before a vote on USMCA. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said she is unwilling to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate until the House has a clear idea of how the Senate will conduct the trial. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has said he would prefer the vote on USMCA be held before the impeachment trial.

Van Drew Off House Agriculture Committee

The House Democratic leadership has removed Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, who switched from being a Democrat to being a Republican, from the House Agriculture Committee, a spokesman for the committee said Wednesday.

No Democrat has been appointed to replace him, the spokesman said.

Van Drew also lost his seat on the House Natural Resources Committee.

The Republican leadership has not announced committee positions for Van Drew.

President Donald Trump will come to Van Drew's district on January 28 to campaign for him, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Amy Kennedy, who is married to former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., has joined the race against Van Drew, the Inquirer also reported.

Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter @hagstromreport



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