Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chair of the Senate Finance Committee. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told reporters Wednesday that President Trump should "pull out" of NAFTA if the Democrat-controlled House doesn't support the renegotiated trade deal signed by the U.S., Mexico and Canada last November.

"I hope that they're smart enough not to let that happen."

Between the lines, via Axios' Caitlin Owens: As the new chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Grassley will be responsible for shepherding the deal through the Senate. Withdrawing from NAFTA would be seen as the ultimate way to force the Democrats' hand when it comes to approving the trade deal, but it's a risky move. If Democrats don't fold and there ends up being no trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, the result would be complete economic chaos.

Background: The revised deal, known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), still has to be approved by Congress and the Canadian and Mexican legislatures.

  • USMCA contains modest changes from NAFTA, but Trump sees it as a major win after promising on the campaign trail to get rid of what he called the "single worst trade deal ever approved."
  • But as the New York Times notes, House Democrats aren't likely to want to "sign off on any deal that does not include significant changes that labor leaders and newly elected progressives are demanding. That could involve reopening negotiations with Mexico, although American and Mexican negotiators have both publicly ruled out that possibility."

Go deeper: Breaking down the rapid NAFTA rebrand

Go deeper

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Tim Scott says Trump "misspoke" when he told Proud Boys to "stand by"

Photo: Bonnie Cash/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told reporters on Wednesday that he believes President Trump "misspoke" when he told the far-right "Proud Boys" group to "stand back and stand by" in response to a question about condemning white supremacy at the first presidential debate.

Catch up quick: Moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump on Tuesday, "Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down?" Trump asked who specifically he should condemn, and then responded, "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left."

Updated 54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Commission on Presidential Debates wants changes

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Wednesday that it plans to implement changes to rules for the remaining debates, after Tuesday night's head-to-head between Joe Biden and Donald Trump was practically incoherent for most of the night.

What they are saying: "Last night's debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues," the CPD said in a statement.

Trump says he doesn't know who Proud Boys are after telling them to "stand by"

President Trump told reporters on Wednesday that he doesn't know who the Proud Boys are, after saying at the presidential debate last night that the far-right group should "stand back and stand by" in response to a question asking him to condemn white supremacists.

Why it matters: The comments set off outrage and calls for clarification from a number of Republican senators. After being asked several times on Wednesday whether he will condemn white supremacy, Trump responded, "I have always denounced any form — any form of any of that, you have to denounce. But I also — Joe Biden has to say something about antifa."