Emmer: Impeachment may cost the Democrats the House

“This process they’re embarking on is going to cost them their majority next fall,”

Tom Emmer

It’s official. Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is moving forward with impeachment against President Trump. 

Tom Emmer, Minnesota Congressman and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) chairman, thinks that move will cost Democrats their majority in the House of Representatives in 2020’s election. 

“This process they’re embarking on is going to cost them their majority next fall,” Emmer said. According to Emmer, that starts with the GOP winning the 31 congressional districts that Democrats won in 2018, but where Trump won the majority of the votes cast in 2016.

Democrats dispute this claim, but come 2020 the Republicans will only need to flip a little over a dozen seats to take back the House.

And House Democrats—who won in 2018 by promising to get things done—have little to write home about. 

First, there’s the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, which is President Trump’s replacement to NAFTA (the North America Free Trade Agreement). Trump negotiated a USMCA deal that better-protects American jobs, and gives American farmers more access to the Mexican and Canadian market. Who can argue with that?

But the Democrats have found reasons to oppose the deal nonetheless, which leads many to think they are playing politics and don’t want to give Trump a win going into 2020. First, they say that the USMCA provides too great a protection to drug patents, but the protection in the USMCA for drug patents is lower than existing U.S. law. 

Next, they say that—despite all of the USMCA’s pro-U.S.-labor measures—the deal doesn’t do enough to enforce U.S.-style environmental and labor standards on Mexico. But the USMCA does much more than NAFTA to keep jobs flowing out of the U.S.

In 2018’s midterms, Democrats also promised the voters prescription drug reform. But the White House and Democrats’ progress on prescription drug reform halted once impeachment became the primary obsession in Washington.

All this is why some Democrats are worried, privately, that impeachment efforts could backfire. The case of Bill Clinton’s impeachment provides the starkest warning for Democrats: Clinton and Democrats went form being projected to lose several dozen House seats to gaining a few seats, and having political momentum going into the 2000 election, where Democrats won the popular vote despite losing the Electoral College.


Willis Krumholz

Willis L. Krumholz is a fellow at Defense Priorities. He holds a JD and MBA degree from the University of St. Thomas, and works in the financial services industry. The views expressed are those of the author only. You can follow Willis on Twitter @WillKrumholz.