Rep. Al Green (D-TX) filed articles of impeachment against President Trump for his “racist” remarks against the “Squad” which he refers to as a “high misdemeanor.”
Asked by a reporter why he didn’t wait until after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony which is expected next week. Green replied, “The Mueller testimony has nothing to do with his bigotry. Nothing. Zero. Nada. We cannot wait. As we wait, we risk having the blood of somebody on our hands — and it could be a member of Congress.” I suppose Green felt similar urgency the first two times he filed articles of impeachment against Trump.
Like it or not, House leadership is required to act quickly on this resolution. According to the Washington Post:
Green’s move will force House Democrats to deal with the issue in the near term because of the privileged nature of the resolution. Under House rules, Democratic leadership can decide to try to table the impeachment articles, effectively killing them for now and risk criticism from the party’s liberal base; refer them to the House Judiciary Committee for possible consideration; or allow the vote to proceed.
If leaders do nothing, Green can force a vote on the impeachment articles in two legislative days.
The problem is that the caucus is already very divided on this issue and no matter which option House leadership takes, these divisions will grow wider.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, mindful of the damage this will inflict on the Democratic Party, has worked to avoid this very situation.
The matter is likely to divide the caucus, which has grappled for months with the question of what to do about Trump. Even impeachment proponents seemed divided about whether it is wise to force the issue now. House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said he would support an immediate move to impeach the president, even voting against Democratic leaders should they try to refer the matter to committee to sideline the debate. …
Certain to be wary are moderates and lawmakers from districts that Trump won in 2016 who have long feared blowback for such a vote. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (Fla.), who leads the conservative Blue Dog Democrats, said, “I don’t think that we have completed the process or the investigations that we need to, to take that step at this time.” Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.), a freshman from a swing district, said he would vote against the resolution.
“I don’t think we’re there yet. I don’t think it’s healthy,” he said of Green’s effort.
So, House leadership is faced with three bad choices. Each option is certain to inflame one faction or another. A vote to move forward with impeachment will hurt newly elected members from districts where support for Trump is strong. If the vote fails, the progressive base will be incensed.
Pelosi would probably prefer the first option, that of tabling the resolution for now. Impeachment has been lurking in the shadows ever since the Democrats won the House majority anyway.
Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey suggests a more drastic approach:
The least-worst option from this smorgasbord of disaster for Pelosi might be to force an up-or-down vote on impeachment now. Rip the Band-Aid off quickly, let the bill die, and hope that there’s enough time ahead of the election to have this fade into distant memory. Trump would claim vindication from it, but that’s got a shelf life too. The closer this drags on to the election, the worse it gets for Pelosi.
At 10 am, NBC announced that the House will vote this afternoon between 4:30 and 5 pm on whether or not to immediately consider Green’s articles of impeachment.
Rep. Al Green says the US House will vote between 4:30-5 p.m. ET today on his articles of impeachment for President Trump; it remains unclear if Democratic leadership will move to vote to table the resolution, vote to send to cmte. or vote to proceed with the resolution.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 17, 2019
Democrats are warily watching to see if Republicans consider any procedural trickery. They worry that Republicans may join Green in opposing a delay and forcing the House to take an up-or-down vote on the articles of impeachment.
House leaders are likely to sideline Green’s measure with their own procedural vote: either moving to table his articles and delay them or to bottle them up in the Judiciary Committee. Green has said he’ll oppose either move, but a majority of Democrats are expected to side with leadership.
Fasten your seatbelts!