House set for second Trump impeachment vote
Pence rejects the idea of invoking the 25th Amendment to oust Trump
The House convenes at 9 am to vote on a second impeachment of President Donald Trump. Look for a final vote around 3 pm. Behold, the Battle of the Metal Detectors. And maybe the best press release ever. This is "Regular Order" for January 13, 2021.
HISTORIC IMPEACHMENT. No President has ever been impeached twice. That will change today. The impeachment resolution before the House accuses President Trump of lying repeatedly and making false charges of election fraud. Democrats argue the President’s lies caused people to wrongly believe the election had been stolen - culminating in the violent attack on Congress last week by Trump supporters.
WHAT DID HE SAY? When it comes to inciting an insurrection, the impeachment resolution quotes President Trump telling a crowd last Wednesday, "if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore." Soon after the President's speech, Trump supporters attacked the Capitol, killing one police officer and injuring dozens.
“I ONLY NEED 11,000 VOTES.” The impeachment resolution also singles out President Trump's efforts to illegally overturn his loss in Georgia. The details refer to a leaked phone call, where the President leaned on state elections officials to change the outcome of the vote - so he could win.
HOW MANY REPUBLICANS? No one expects a large number of Republicans to vote for impeachment. But there will be some. “The President's role in this insurrection is undeniable," said Rep. John Katko (R-NY). “The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” said Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), in a stinging indictment of Mr. Trump. “Everything that followed was his doing.” As of 8 am, there are 5 Republicans who say they will vote to impeach. That could grow.
GOP CENSURE RESOLUTION. Unwilling to vote for impeachment, a small group of Republicans on Tuesday instead offered up a censure resolution to rebuke the President. But when you look at the language, the GOP plan says almost the exact same thing as the impeachment proposal from Democrats. Except it has no teeth.
PELOSI NAMES IMPEACHMENT PROSECUTORS. Even before a vote to impeach President Trump, Speaker Pelosi named the group of Democrats who will prosecute the case in a Senate impeachment trial. “We have a solemn duty to protect our democracy and Constitution,” said lead manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD).
POST-TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL? It’s not clear when an impeachment trial might begin. Oddly enough, there is precedent for Congress to go through an impeachment trial *after* an official has left federal service - that happened in 1876 with a Secretary of War. Watch the Senate Majority Leader’s next move.
PENCE REJECTS 25TH. As House Democrats pressed him to bump President Trump out of office, Vice President Pence denounced the move - but admitted he had been asked to help the President illegally stay in power. "Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert power beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election,” Pence wrote, describing what seemed like an impeachable offense.
"I'VE NEVER SAID." At one point in a House Rules Committee meeting on Tuesday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) rejected attacks by Democrats on the GOP. "I've never said this election was stolen," Jordan declared. But a look back at some old tweets paints a different picture. "Democrats are trying to steal the election," Jordan wrote on October 19. "Over 50 million Americans think this election was stolen," Jordan tweeted on December 4. And Jordan also spoke at a "Stop the Steal" rally.
SEDITIOUS CONSPIRACY. When it comes to suspects in the Capitol attack, the FBI is not pulling punches. The feds have set up a special task force just to deal with 'sedition' cases. Those charges carry penalties of up to 20 years in prison. It seems like we are going to see a lot more people arrested and charged.
METAL DETECTORS ANGER GOP. In an effort to stop lawmakers from carrying guns on to the House floor, Democrats set up metal detectors outside the chamber on Tuesday night. Republicans were livid. After a standoff involving Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) - who has actively advertised the fact that she carries a gun - a number of Republicans simply rushed by police to get on to the House floor.
MORE DEMOCRATS GET COVID. Three Democratic lawmakers in the House have now tested positive for the Coronavirus in recent days, with many wondering whether they were infected while lawmakers were gathered in a secure room during the Capitol attack. A number of Republicans refused to wear masks during that time.
NO MASK, LESS MONEY. Meanwhile, the virus fight took an interesting step on Tuesday, as the House voted last night to authorize fines against lawmakers who don’t wear masks on the floor. The first offense is $500. After that, it’s $2,500 each violation. Democrats all voted for it. Republicans were against.
NOT EVERYTHING IS PARTISAN. In a virtual hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) smiled broadly and said he would gladly let Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) chair much of the hearing. "You need to practice since you're going to be the Chairman in one week," Inhofe said with a chuckle. It's a reminder of the big changes which will happen as Democrats take charge.
BEST PRESS RELEASE OF 2021. The competition may be over already for this year. Read this statement from Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL).
THE MUSE OF HISTORY. 12 years ago, the Senate was already into a second week of confirmation hearings on members of Barack Obama’s Cabinet. Normally by this point in January, the Senate has held multiple confirmation hearings for Cabinet secretaries of an incoming President. But this year is not normal. Four nomination hearings have finally been set for January 19, the day before Joe Biden is sworn in.
UPCOMING LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM:
House meets at 9 am.
Senate meets next on Friday.
President Trump is in Washington.
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“Conference reports may be brought up at any time. Any further program will be announced later.”