On a party lines vote on Thursday, the U.S. House voted to formalize an impeachment inquiry focused on President Donald Trump.
The resolution passed on a 232-196 vote with U.S. Rep. Colin Peterson, D-Minn., and U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, D-NJ, breaking with the Democratic majority to vote with GOP against it. U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, I-Mich., a libertarian who left the GOP earlier this year, voted for the resolution.
Members of the Florida delegation voted on party lines on the resolution “directing certain committees to continue their ongoing investigations as part of the existing House of Representatives inquiry into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to exercise its Constitutional power to impeach Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America, and for other purposes.”
“It’s time for the American people to hear the extent of President Trump’s abuse of power,” said U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla. “House Democrats are conducting a methodical, thorough and factual investigation to follow the facts and uncover the extent to which Trump’s actions threatened our national security and the extent of the cover-up. The president will be held accountable because no one is above the law.”
“We have conducted this impeachment inquiry responsibly and methodically. We are following the House rules, respecting historical precedent, and fulfilling our oath to support the Constitution. And we carry a full understanding of the grave responsibility we hold,” said U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla. “With this vote, the House is proceeding toward a full and fair consideration of the evidence that will allow the American people to hear firsthand the mounting evidence against the president.”
Republicans from the Sunshine State lined up against the resolution.
“Today, I opposed the resolution that attempts to justify the sham impeachment process,” said U.S. Rep. Ross Spano, R-Fla. “While the Democrats have said that this resolution will ensure a fair, open, and transparent process, I find it difficult to get behind a resolution that would only allow Republicans to issue subpoenas if Chairman Schiff believes it is necessary to the investigation. I have no reason to believe that the man who has barred us from the current depositions will now provide an open and balanced approach going forward.
“If we have learned anything so far, it is that the majority does not recognize the Constitution’s protection of due process. They have spent the last month selectively leaking information to the press, and a yes vote on the resolution today would give a stamp of approval to a process that has been damaged beyond repair,” Spano added. “I cannot support such a resolution that disregards the precedent established during previous impeachments and the procedures to ensure an open and fair process.”
“I voted no on the impeachment resolution today. Impeachment is a serious power granted to Congress. Unfortunately, this process has been one-sided and secretive – and I still don’t have access to documents related to impeachment that I requested nearly a month ago. This process will continue to be unfair and a major distraction from tackling America’s problems. Healthcare is still too expensive, our roads aren’t being fixed and our military currently only has 19 days of funding left. We owe it to the American people to do better,” said U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla.
Three Republican congressmen and one Democrat congressman–none of whom represent Florida–did not vote.