Washington has plunged into an impeachment crisis, as House Democrats open an investigation into President Trump's campaign season dealings with Ukraine.
Many in the farming community are wondering what the controversy will mean for the future of a vote in Congress on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal.
Farm Journal Washington Correspondent Jim Wiesemeyer says his sources are split. Some are saying Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will need to show the House can still govern and will bring USMCA to a vote later this year. Others cite more political reasons, saying the President will be under severe criticism and the Democratic party should not give him something he wants.
Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says he does not feel the impeachment inquiry will derail efforts to get an agreement in Congress by the end of the year. He told reporters if the Democrats don't want to pass USMCA because they think President Trump did something wrong, "that would prove they're more interested in politics and opposing the President at all costs than serving the American people."
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Massachusetts Democrat Richard Neal said he won't let the impeachment issue distract from his agenda.
However, Chad Hart, an economist at Iowa State University said, "When we look at where agriculture bills stand in this Congress, it has been very hard to get anything moving before this occurred. I'm going to argue this really doesn't change that. Yes, it will eat up more time, but it wasn't as if they were using that time to advance agricultural bills, anyway."