Lawmakers: Gun control, USMCA have taken back seat to impeachment inquiry

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Congressional priorities seem to have stalled on big issues like gun control and the United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal. Lawmakers from both parties say Congress and the White House need to find a way to work together on important legislation, even as the impeachment inquiry moves forward.

“It’s not ‘if’ impeachment is getting in the way. Impeachment is getting in the way,” Congressman Tom Reed said.

Reed, R-New York, says the impeachment process is impeding legislative business.

“US-Mexico-Canada deal this should be done,” he added. “This needs to be done. These farmers are struggling.”

Reed says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should immediately allow a vote on the trade deal that would replace NAFTA.

“But this is the problem in Washington, D.C. – these guys that are stuck in this swamp are just focusing on their political agenda,” Reed said.

“They don’t care about USMCA, how about that? I think they’re lousy politicians,” President Donald Trump said.

Trump has labeled lawmakers on the other side of the aisle the “Do-Nothing Democrats.” But members of that party say despite the impeachment inquiry, they stand ready to work with him.

“I still remain willing to compromise, to partner with the White House—even during impeachment proceedings—to try and get a background checks deal done that would save lives,” Sen. Chris Murphy said.

Murphy, D-Connecticut, says talks haven’t broken down on his side of the aisle but he hasn’t heard a word from the White House about gun policy for a month.

“It’s totally up to the president of the United States whether he wants to work with Democrats, work with Congress, during this period of time or whether he wants to take out his political anger on the nation by refusing to do any legislation,” Murphy added.

Murphy supports the House impeachment inquiry but says that’s not the reason for the inaction.

“Let’s be clear: President Trump hasn’t worked with Democrats on anything prior to the impeachment beginning,” he said.