House kills solo Democrat's bid to impeach Trump

The House on Wednesday easily defeated an effort from a Texas Democrat to impeach President Donald Trump in the first vote that Congress has taken related to...

Posted: Jul 17, 2019 12:36 PM
Updated: Jul 17, 2019 6:45 PM

The House on Wednesday easily defeated an effort from a Texas Democrat to impeach President Donald Trump in the first vote that Congress has taken related to impeachment since Democrats took control of the chamber.

Rep. Al Green was able to force the vote under House rules, in what amounted to the most direct challenge yet to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's handling of impeachment.

The 332-95 vote showcased the stark divide among Democrats, who split over the vote to kill the impeachment measure. Ninety-five Democrats -- a little more than 40% of the Democratic caucus -- voted against tabling it, or to keep it alive. That's more Democrats who voted against tabling than similar resolutions in 2017 (58) and 2018 (66). No Republicans voted to keep it alive.

Green's decision to bring up his resolution presented a dilemma for impeachment supporters and moderate Democrats alike, as they're now on the record for their vote, even if Green's resolution was only focused on one issue — what he says is the President's 'bigotry and racism' — out of many Democrats are wrestling with on whether to move forward on impeachment.

Green was able to force the House to take up his impeachment articles because it's considered a privileged resolution under the House rules. While any House member can introduce a privileged resolution on the floor — and Green introduced similar resolutions twice while Republicans were control — Pelosi has until now held her party back from doing so since Democrats took control of chamber, despite more than 80 members pushing for the start of an impeachment inquiry.

Republicans helped Democrats table the resolution to show bipartisan opposition to impeaching the President on the grounds laid out in the Green resolution, according to a senior GOP leadership aide. The White House wanted a strong vote to kill the resolution, a source familiar with White House thinking said.

Ahead of the vote, Green dismissed calls from within his party to hold off on the resolution, which he introduced Tuesday evening, arguing that impeachment should follow Tuesday's House vote that condemned the President's racist tweets.

'I should not hold off, we should go forward as expeditiously as possible and we should do so because on yesterday we convicted the President ... The condemnation was a conviction. Today we have the opportunity to punish,' Green said a reference to the resolution that passed Tuesday condemning racist language used by the President. 'As a result of what we did yesterday, the President suffers no harm, he doesn't have to pay any fine, he's not going to lose his job. But today we have the opportunity to punish.'

Democrats have been wrestling with the question of impeachment since taking control of the House, and now more than a third of House Democrats publicly support opening an impeachment inquiry. But Pelosi has resisted those efforts, saying they should not move forward with impeachment unless the public is on their side.

'With all the respect in the world for him, we have six committees that are working on following the facts in terms of any abuse of power, obstruction of justice and the rest that the President may have engaged in,' Pelosi said. 'That is the serious path that we are on, not that Mr. Green is not serious, but we'll deal with that on the floor.'

Green is bringing up the impeachment resolution a week before special counsel Robert Mueller testifies publicly before the House, an event that many impeachment backers say will be key to sway the public — and skeptical lawmakers — on impeachment.

'Our focus should be on making sure that the Mueller hearing goes well,' said House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries of New York.

Other House Democrats who support beginning an impeachment inquiry — and in some cases moving forward with articles of impeachment — said they would support Green's measure, even if they didn't agree with his decision to bring it up now.

'If I thought it was a really good idea I'd have done it myself,' said Rep. Steve Cohen, a Tennessee Democrat who will support Green's resolution.

'I don't think this is the wisest moment,' said Rep. Veronica Escobar, a Texas Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. 'I mean, believe me, this is something that I wrestle with myself and I think that the president is unfit for office and so I need to think through it, but ... we have an important process ahead that we really need to follow.'

But Green said he chose to move forward with his resolution because he thinks Congress should send Trump 'a powerful message that this country will not tolerate bigotry, racism, hate, xenophobia, Islamophobia.'

He noted that his impeachment resolution is not connected to Mueller or the findings of his investigation.

'You don't delay justice. The Mueller hearing has nothing to do with what we're doing now. The Mueller hearing is all about obstruction, this is about bigotry and racism and that racism that's been infused into policy,' Green said.

In December 2017 and January 2018, Green also introduced privileged impeachment resolutions, which were both tabbed by the Republican-led House. The resolutions were killed in votes of 364-58 and 355-66, respectively, with a majority of Democrats joining Republicans to defeat them in both cases.

This story has been updated with additional developments Wednesday.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 501652

Reported Deaths: 10024
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34353540
DeSoto32162408
Hinds31977631
Jackson24508383
Rankin22015390
Lee15596235
Madison14597280
Jones13867243
Forrest13461252
Lauderdale11998317
Lowndes11065188
Lamar10522136
Pearl River9547237
Lafayette8557140
Hancock7740127
Washington7443160
Oktibbeha7147133
Monroe6787178
Warren6706176
Pontotoc6677104
Neshoba6642206
Panola6542131
Marshall6476135
Bolivar6323150
Union605794
Pike5824152
Alcorn5676102
Lincoln5439135
George497479
Scott473098
Tippah470381
Prentiss469182
Leflore4663144
Itawamba4640105
Adams4592119
Tate4592111
Copiah448792
Simpson4448116
Yazoo444887
Wayne440072
Covington429094
Sunflower4240105
Marion4232108
Coahoma4168107
Leake408688
Newton381779
Grenada3711108
Stone360664
Tishomingo360092
Attala331789
Jasper330165
Winston314691
Clay308977
Chickasaw301067
Clarke292594
Calhoun279447
Holmes267987
Smith264150
Yalobusha234547
Tallahatchie228251
Greene219449
Walthall218764
Lawrence213140
Perry205956
Amite205256
Webster203046
Noxubee186840
Montgomery179657
Jefferson Davis172243
Carroll169338
Tunica160039
Benton149239
Kemper141941
Choctaw133326
Claiborne132837
Humphreys129638
Franklin120328
Quitman106528
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson94734
Sharkey64220
Issaquena1937
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 820312

Reported Deaths: 15407
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1148731924
Mobile726221339
Madison52362697
Shelby37640350
Baldwin37266552
Tuscaloosa35120612
Montgomery34123740
Lee23540246
Calhoun22236488
Morgan20958378
Etowah19838500
Marshall18381304
Houston17394412
St. Clair16078339
Cullman15468293
Limestone15354199
Elmore15271286
Lauderdale14323295
Talladega13851283
DeKalb12664261
Walker11221370
Blount10207176
Autauga10048148
Jackson9877184
Coffee9211191
Dale8904185
Colbert8877201
Tallapoosa7093198
Escambia6778134
Covington6715183
Chilton6648162
Russell637559
Franklin5969105
Chambers5612142
Marion5010127
Dallas4979200
Pike4796106
Clarke475884
Geneva4575127
Winston4522103
Lawrence4327117
Bibb425386
Barbour357876
Marengo338390
Monroe331664
Randolph329864
Butler326796
Pickens316584
Henry312866
Hale311688
Cherokee302960
Fayette294180
Washington251651
Cleburne247760
Crenshaw245375
Clay243368
Macon234863
Lamar224847
Conecuh186353
Coosa180340
Lowndes175464
Wilcox168939
Bullock151744
Perry138940
Sumter133238
Greene126744
Choctaw88527
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