- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 21, 2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she intended to make her legislative priorities “too hot” for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to ignore in Congress‘ upper chamber.

The California Democrat identified the “common sense expansion of background check legislation” for firearms as one agenda matter she wanted to force Mr. McConnell to act upon.

“[F]or over 260 days, the background check legislation has been sitting on Mitch McConnell’s desk,” Mrs. Pelosi said at a press conference on Thursday. “Forty-seven percent of those who die from gun violence each day, 47% are teenagers or younger, children. Our message to Mitch McConnell is…why do you think your political survival is more important than the survival of our children?”

Mr. McConnell, however, blamed Mrs. Pelosi and House Democrats for failing to take action on trade, namely the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“For nine months, Speaker Pelosi has told the press every couple of weeks that she’ll allow a vote soon [on USMCA],” the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor Thursday. “Now we’re one week out from Thanksgiving, and there’s still no tangible sign—none—of progress from the House. If the House cannot pass the USMCA this year, there is no way they’ll be able to claim the people’s business has not taken a back seat to impeachment.”

Mr. McConnell also took issue with the lack of agreement from the House on funding for the armed forces and the Department of Defense.

The likelihood that Congress will address such legislative priorities in 2019 diminishes as a prospective impeachment trial of President Trump in the Senate grows closer and threatens to grind legislative business to a halt.

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