The verdict is in: Opinion polls show that weeks of public hearings have done little to change the public's attitude about whether President Trump deserves to be impeached. By now, the message is clear: The Dems took a gamble on impeachment, and lost. Now, Pelosi is apparently going about clearing the decks so she can get on with her next piece of business: Blaming 'the squad' and AOC for the impeachment fiasco while hoping that throwing the progressives under the bus is enough to protect the dozens of moderate Dems in swing-district seats who delivered the Dems their majority in 2018.
Despite having their press credentials revoked by President Trump, Bloomberg's Washington bureau still apparently has its finger on the pulse of what's happening in the capital, and its reporters claim that the articles of impeachment could be finished by next Thursday, opening the door to a vote on impeachment the following week before Congress breaks for the holiday.
Though members of the Judiciary Committee are still debating what to include in the impeachment, BBG says they could begin voting on specific articles as soon as Thursday, citing officials familiar with the chairman's thinking.
That would clear the way for the entire House to vote before Congress heads to recess for the holidays.
Though Pelosi insists she hasn't set a deadline, it would appear that both she and President Trump support 'doing it now' with regard to impeachment, as President Trump put it in a tweet earlier this week.
The Do Nothing Democrats had a historically bad day yesterday in the House. They have no Impeachment case and are demeaning our Country. But nothing matters to them, they have gone crazy. Therefore I say, if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 5, 2019
Both parties have their eyes on the electoral calendar, which "is what it is," as one Democratic Rep told BBG. It's also notable that many (including Republican witness Jonathan Turley) have accused the Dems of rushing impeachment.
"We are trying to be sensitive to the fact that it is going to spill over into an election year. And we’re trying to wrap it before that happens here in the House to give the Senate the opportunity to set its own timetable," said Democratic Representative Gerry Connolly of Virginia, a member of the Oversight Committee. "The calendar is what it is."
Meanwhile, pressure is growing on Pelosi to bring USMCA up for a vote by the end of the year, from both Republicans and Democrats. BAML global rates and currencies strategist David Woo told Bloomberg that the passage of USMCA by the end of the year is one of the three "make or break" scenarios girding his 2020 markets projections.
An official familiar with Pelosi’s thinking said that the most powerful Democrat on the Hill is acutely aware that the public's patience with impeachment is limited, and, after weeks of hearings, Americans are still roughly split, with 47% to 48% percent supporting impeachment, and 44% to 45% opposing.
And the longer the process drags on, the worse the numbers will look. Meanwhile, the longer she delays a vote on USMCA, the greater the risk of being blamed for trying to sabotage President Trump's economic agenda. After all, Trump's highest approval numbers stem from his handling of the economy. The president's paranoia about a recession arriving before election day inspired his attacks on the Fed and, arguably, the central bank's entire 'midcycle adjustment', and it underscores how important the economy is to his re-election hopes.