Republicans blocked a bill introduced by House Democrats Monday aimed at passing a resolution through unanimous consent to push President Trump out of office through the 25th Amendment.
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) gaveled in the House for a brief pro forma session, during which House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) asked for unanimous consent on the resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to “convene and mobilize” the Cabinet to invoke the Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, declaring President Trump “incapable of executing the duties of his office and to immediately exercise powers as acting president.” The resolution, spearheaded by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) will now have to be brought to the House floor for a vote.
West Virginia Congressman Alex Mooney, a Republican, objected to Democrats’ attempt to fast-track the resolution and the request was blocked. Under House rules, it only takes one lawmaker to block any immediate consideration for the resolution to pass under unanimous consent.
Mooney in a statement said he opposed Democrats rushing to pass a “resolution of this magnitude without any debate.”
“Speaker Pelosi should not attempt to adopt a resolution of this magnitude without any debate on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. It is wrong to have sent members of Congress home and then try to adopt without any debate a precedent-setting resolution that could imperil our Republic,” Mooney said in a statement after the brief session. “The U.S. House must never adopt a resolution that demands the removal of a duly elected president, without any hearings, debate or recorded votes.”
The House adjourned after Mooney’s objection until 9 am ET Tuesday.
Hoyer told reporters after the exchange on the House floor that the full House will vote on the rule for the resolution Tuesday and vote for final passage on Tuesday evening, forcing Republicans to go on record three times opposing the 25th Amendment resolution.
“There may well be a vote on impeachment on Wednesday,” Hoyer said.
He pushed back against those arguing the House should delay sending the case to the Senate for trial until after President-elect Joe Biden has a chance to fill his cabinet post, pass a new economic stimulus measure, and among other initiatives.
“Whether impeachment can pass the United States Senate is not the issue,” Hoyer said. “The issue is we have a president who most of us believe participated in encouraging an insurrection and attack on this building, and on democracy and trying to subvert the counting of the presidential ballot.”
The resolution calls on Pence to respond 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.” It also points to Wednesday’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol as the main cause for Pence to take action, saying the mob threatened the safety and lives of the first three individuals in the line of succession to the presidency. If Pence does not invoke the amendment, Democrats say they will hold a vote on impeachment.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that Republican’s rejection of the resolution is only enabling Trump’s “unhinged, unstable and deranged acts of sedition to continue.”
“The House Republicans rejected this legislation to protect America, enabling the President’s unhinged, unstable and deranged acts of sedition to continue. Their complicity endangers America, erodes our Democracy, and it must end,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“The House will next take up the Raskin legislation in regular order to call upon the Vice President to activate the 25th Amendment to remove the President. We are further calling on the Vice President to respond within 24 hours after passage,” Pelosi added.
Pence has not shown an interest in triggering the never-used section of the 25th Amendment