House rejects Democratic effort to impeach Trump as shutdown looms
The House on Friday once again rejected an effort by Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) to impeach President Trump, in a sign of inflamed partisan tensions ahead of a midnight deadline to avoid a government shutdown.
Green, who has agitated for Trump’s impeachment for months, forced a procedural vote on articles of impeachment following Trump’s Oval Office comments last week describing some nations as “shithole countries” while expressing a preference for immigrants from places like Norway.
It failed by a 355-66 vote, with three Democrats voting “present.”
Trump made the comments during a meeting with members of Congress about a potential deal to shield young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally from deportation while enhancing border security. Those talks have been in limbo since that meeting, which in turn has led to an impasse over keeping the government open.
Green previously forced a vote on articles of impeachment last month, which failed due to most Democrats joining with Republicans to table it. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) both oppose calling for impeachment at this point, citing the ongoing investigations of whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election.
Eight more Democrats voted in favor of impeaching Trump than a month ago, demonstrating the growing support on the left for pushing Trump out of office.
A total of 58 Democrats voted in favor of impeachment in December, primarily the most liberal lawmakers and fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).
Green’s latest articles of impeachment are similar to those he offered last month but updated with Trump’s “shithole” comment from last week.
Trump, Green alleges in the articles of impeachment, has “brought the high office of president of the United States in contempt, ridicule, disgrace and disrepute” and “has sown discord among the people of the United States.”
Aside from the latest controversy from Trump’s immigration meeting, the articles of impeachment cite Trump’s travel ban, push to prevent transgender people from serving in the military, attempts to cast equal blame on white supremacists and counter-protesters for violence in Charlottesville, Va., and attacks on NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality.
Most Democrats aren’t ready to support impeachment out of concerns that it would be premature.
Instead, Democratic leaders are endorsing an effort from members of the CBC and House Judiciary Committee to censure Trump for describing Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as “shithole countries.”
The censure resolution, unveiled Thursday, calls on Trump to apologize for remarks it describes as “hateful, discriminatory and racist, and cannot and should not be the basis of any American policy.”
CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) said that Democrats may try to force a vote on the censure resolution if GOP leaders don’t bring it up for consideration on the floor.
Some Republicans have joined with Democrats in criticizing Trump for the comments. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) used milder language than Democrats, saying that Trump’s remarks were “very unfortunate” and “unhelpful.”
Despite breaking with Trump over the comments, GOP leaders are highly unlikely to support efforts to censure him.
Democrats also introduced a resolution to censure Trump over his handling of the Charlottesville violence, but Republicans similarly dismissed it.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.