It’s not all too often we see both political parties so wholeheartedly agreeing on any specific idea or proposal. I guess that is why what is happening with the proposed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is being called a “rare bipartisan moment.” The plan was recently put before the House of Representatives and, if passed, as it is likely to, it will move on to the Senate and be ratified.
Most Democrats agree that “this deal is much better than the original NAFTA – and infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration,” as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says. And President Donald Trump had declared it a win, as the new plan will replace what he calls the “worst trade deal ever made.”
Since Pelosi is rather thrilled about the plan, you would expect the GOP to be hesitant about its adoption. And, indeed, some are. Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania says that is it a “complete capitulation to Pelosi.”
But as Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota points out, the “vast majority” of conservatives plan to support the deal in the upper house, even though it is “imperfect, and some people are concerned about the more recent negotiations.”
So it sounds like a win-win, right? The Democrats are happy, the Republicans are content, and Trump, who has to play to both sides, is pleased the two are in a rare agreement.
However, for a few, things are not all sunshine and roses about the USMCA deal. Can you guess who isn’t happy with the plan?
Would be shocked if I told it was socialist Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?
Apparently, she can’t be happy when Trump is, even though it may cost her constituents. She told a community town hall in her some state of New York on Saturday that she was most likely going to vote against the agreement.
She said, “I am leaning and intending to vote ‘no.’” According to the New York Post, she added, “Folks who, because of our shameful health care system in the United States, cross the border into Canada to try to purchase insulin to bring back” would be penalized by the new USMCA deal.
To AOC and a group of nine House Democrats, this new trade deal, “is essentially NAFTA 2.0: while it includes some important improvements from the original NAFTA, critical unfinished business would perpetuate NAFTA’s damage.” They wrote this in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in June to explain their dislike for the plan.
They added that “the new text also includes new terms that we oppose, including some that would lock in high U.S. drug prices.”
Co-squad member Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota was one of those nine. She told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, “We have engaged our stakeholders in Minnesota and still have concerns.” However, she failed to expound on what those concerns were.
Perhaps, she, like AOC, believes that if it isn’t wholly in support of the progressive left, then they should “flex (their) muscle,” as the New Yorker says. And this isn’t the first time she has acted in this manner regarding a bipartisan proposal that could benefit her constituents.
In fact, Pelosi brought a bill to the House floor earlier in the year that would have lowered the drug and insulin prices AOC is worried about. It was called the H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, and AOC voted no for it. She told her fellow members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus that unless her exact demands were met, they shouldn’t vote for it. She said, “I think we need to flex our muscle.”
Essentially, what AOC is saying is that she is going to use her power, whatever amount she may have, to get precisely what she wants and not a cent less. She must think she is someone really special to resist compromise so consistently.
The only thing is she isn’t getting anywhere using that muscle. She is only one of nine, now eight, due to do Katie Hill’s resignation, who oppose the USMCA deal. Not only is AOC not getting what she wants, but she costs American workers their jobs, just like she did with Amazon.
It’s clear that the only thing that matters to her is the progressive agenda. And since this is a Trump win too, she’s not happy. It won’t be long before she herself won’t have a job if she keeps this up.