WASHINGTON – House Republicans on Monday blocked a resolution aimed at encouraging removal of President Donald Trump through the 25th Amendment while Democrats introduced a new impeachment article against the president.
The two-pronged effort to remove Trump from office in the waning days of his presidency comes after a pro-Trump mob broke into the Capitol last week in a deadly riot.
Democrats can bring up on Tuesday the 25th Amendment resolution and the House could consider the impeachment article the following day.
"There may well be a vote on impeachment on Wednesday," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters.
If passed by the Democrat-controlled House, Hoyer said the impeachment article should immediately be sent to the Senate.
Some Democrats have suggested the article be delayed to give the Senate time to first consider President-elect Joe Biden’s nominations and top policy priorities before holding an impeachment trial.
While the article has no Republican cosponsors, Rep. David Cicilline, one of the authors, said he's hopeful some will vote for it.
“He incited insurrection against the government of the United States that resulted in the death of five individuals, dozens of people injured in violence here at the Capitol,” the Rhode Island Democrat told reporters Monday.
Cicilline said he and other Democrats would prefer that Vice President Mike Pence trigger the 25th Amendment or that Trump resign on his own.
"Days have passed, and it is clear that neither of those possibilities will be realized," Cicilline wrote in an opinion piece in The New York Times published Monday. "So it is Congress’s responsibility to act."
Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., on Monday blocked Democrats from bringing up a resolution to urge Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and become acting president.
Under House rules, it took only one lawmaker to block immediate consideration of the resolution aimed at pressuring Republicans to take power away from Trump.
Mooney had been among the House Republicans who voted last week not to accept the state-certified election results showing Trump lost reelection.
The resolution calls on Pence and the Cabinet to, within 24 hours, "declare what is obvious to a horrified Nation: That the President is unable to successfully discharge the duties and powers of his office."
Pence has not shown an interest in triggering the never-used section of the amendment that could strip Trump of his authority.
A slight majority of respondents surveyed after last week's riot by Quinnipiac University said Trump should be removed from office: 52% to 45%. The breakdown was similar for those saying Trump should resign.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that lawmakers must "act with urgency" because Trump is an imminent threat to both the Constitution and democracy.
"As the days go by, the horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action," she wrote in a letter to colleagues.
The impeachment article charges Trump with inciting an insurrection by falsely claiming the Nov. 3 election was stolen from him and encouraging supporters to storm the Capitol as lawmakers were certifying the results.
"President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government," the article reads. "He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He therefore betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States."
While a growing number of Republicans have denounced Trump's actions, there is not broad GOP support for impeaching Trump or removing him from office.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Friday it would be better if Democrats and Republicans worked together to facilitate the peaceful transfer of power from Trump to President-elect Joe Biden.
That view was echoed Monday by Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer, head of the campaign arm for House Republicans.
In a statement, Emmer said House Democrats’ efforts to remove Trump are politically motivated and “will fracture our nation even more instead of bringing us together.”
For his part, Biden on Friday dodged when asked by reporters whether he supported impeachment. Biden said he would leave that question up to lawmakers.
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