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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: 259117

Reported Deaths: 5668
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17331186
Hinds16373328
Harrison13731199
Rankin10854217
Jackson10557187
Lee8922141
Madison8335166
Jones6483112
Forrest6038120
Lauderdale5965187
Lowndes5425118
Lafayette503193
Lamar490865
Washington4826124
Bolivar4024109
Oktibbeha397681
Panola374680
Pontotoc369855
Monroe3591105
Warren3569100
Union348063
Marshall347769
Neshoba3413152
Pearl River3329103
Leflore3059107
Lincoln299386
Sunflower288271
Hancock282559
Tate274362
Alcorn267454
Itawamba265260
Pike264679
Scott250847
Prentiss248252
Yazoo247356
Tippah244450
Copiah243949
Coahoma242254
Simpson238368
Leake232966
Grenada220671
Covington215072
Marion215073
Adams207870
Wayne203232
Winston202667
George201939
Newton195044
Attala194659
Tishomingo191661
Chickasaw185744
Jasper174438
Holmes169168
Clay161335
Tallahatchie148235
Stone145921
Clarke141762
Calhoun137621
Smith122725
Yalobusha119134
Walthall112836
Noxubee111423
Greene111029
Montgomery110136
Carroll105321
Lawrence103217
Perry102831
Amite98826
Webster93924
Tunica87421
Claiborne86625
Jefferson Davis85827
Benton83323
Humphreys83324
Kemper78420
Quitman6969
Franklin67115
Choctaw61213
Wilkinson58825
Jefferson55419
Sharkey44017
Issaquena1596
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 429655

Reported Deaths: 6283
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63040956
Mobile30794557
Madison27486201
Tuscaloosa20996268
Montgomery19352315
Shelby18833120
Baldwin16653184
Lee12749102
Morgan12389119
Etowah11861176
Calhoun11292201
Marshall10290113
Houston8746156
Limestone813276
Cullman8125106
Elmore7999104
DeKalb776599
Lauderdale768698
St. Clair7651121
Talladega6309108
Walker5954174
Jackson586341
Colbert539873
Blount537683
Autauga525755
Coffee450456
Dale402981
Franklin369948
Russell340711
Chilton338966
Covington332668
Escambia326043
Dallas308896
Chambers293170
Clarke287833
Tallapoosa2641107
Pike255230
Marion248953
Lawrence246649
Winston229535
Bibb218847
Geneva205446
Marengo202829
Pickens197531
Hale179542
Barbour176036
Fayette172928
Butler170858
Cherokee161930
Henry156523
Monroe149818
Randolph142135
Washington139126
Clay127645
Crenshaw121544
Cleburne119023
Lamar119021
Macon118637
Lowndes112036
Wilcox105121
Bullock101128
Perry99019
Conecuh95720
Sumter89626
Greene76623
Coosa61015
Choctaw51624
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