WASHINGTON — Alabama’s representatives voted along party lines last week to impeach President Trump and to call on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke 25th Amendment proceedings to remove Trump from office.
Voting 232 for and 197 against, the House on Jan. 13 adopted an article of impeachment (H Res 24) charging President Trump with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in prompting a deadly assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6 by a mob of his supporters.
A Senate trial on the article will be held after President-elect Joe Biden takes office Jan. 20. The vote followed the House’s impeachment of Trump in December 2019 over his dealings with Ukraine, making him the only president to be impeached twice.
The article included wording from Section 3 of the post-Civil War 14th Amendment, which bars from future government office any federal or state official who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States or given “aid or comfort to the enemies.”
All 222 Democrats supported the article, and 197 of the 207 Republicans who voted were opposed to it. The 10 Republicans voting for impeachment were Reps. David Valadao of California, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, John Katko of New York, Peter Meijer and Fred Upton of Michigan, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Tom Rice of South Carolina, Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse of Washington and Liz Cheney of Wyoming.
Newhouse said: “There is no excuse for President Trump’s actions. The president took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Last week, there was a domestic threat at the door of the Capitol, and he did nothing to stop it.”
Dan Bishop, R-N.C., said the article dismisses the president’s right to free speech. “Congress can disapprove, revile, condemn, even censure, but you cannot, consistent with the rule of law, punish that which the Constitution’s 1st Amendment declares protected. If you do it, the violators of duty to this Constitution … will be those who vote for this article of impeachment.”
A yes vote was to impeach the president.
Voting yes: Terri Sewell, D-7
Voting no: Jerry Carl, R-1, Barry Moore, R-2, Mike Rogers, R-3, Robert Aderholt, R-4, Mo Brooks, R-5, Gary Palmer, R-6
Removing President Trump by 25th Amendment
Voting 223 for and 205 against, the House on Jan. 12 passed a non-binding resolution (H Res 21) calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke 25th Amendment proceedings to remove President Trump from office. Pence had already announced he would not do so. Under Section 4 of the amendment, if the vice president and a majority of Cabinet members declare in writing to the president pro tempore of the Senate and speaker of the House that the president “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” the vice president immediately becomes acting president with full executive duties and powers.
Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa., said: “Any other president with an ounce of character would have resigned after seeing the bloody consequences (at the Capitol). Any other administration would have invoked the 25th Amendment long ago. I don’t care if the president incites a riot against Congress on his first day or the last day of his or her presidency, such an act is a crime against our government much less against the people who are paralyzed or killed in the attack. If a president can refuse to acknowledge (this) to American voters, then incite a coup to stay in power without punishment, then our democracy is lost.”
Tom McClintock, R-Calif., said: “The 25th Amendment specifically addresses the incapacity of the president to discharge the duties of his office. It was never intended as a political weapon when Congress doesn’t like the way he discharges those duties. … Every act we take builds a precedent for future acts. Once Congress asserts this new role as armchair psychiatrists and a new power to equate intemperate speech with functional disability, the most important pillars of our government – stability, the rule of law and the separation of powers – will fracture. It won’t affect this president, but it will stop future presidents from this day forward.”
A yes vote was to use the 25th Amendment to remove the president.
Voting yes: Sewell
Voting no: Carl, Moore, Rogers, Aderholt, Brooks, Palmer
Key Votes Ahead
The Senate will debate the new administration’s national-security nominees in the week of Jan. 18, while the House schedule was to be announced.