Here’s a quick summary of what we’ve learned about Congress over the past 5 days:
Congress will not:
Pelosi Launches Impeachment Inquiry
In a Tuesday press conference, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House would begin an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
The House normally holds a vote to open impeachment inquiries — but Pelosi made a shrewd political calculation with her announcement. She wanted to appease the left-flank of her caucus by taking a step towards impeachment, all while protecting politically vulnerable Dems from having to go on record with a vote.
Pelosi’s efforts to avoid a vote failed. Republican Leadership introduced a motion disapproving of the Speaker’s unilateral action — Democrats were caught off guard and forced to vote for or against the motion.
The motion was defeated along party lines (232-193), but the damage was done — effectively, every House Democrat went on record in support of impeachment.
It’s no surprise representatives wanted to avoid going on the record. Impeachment remains politically unpopular.
According to a Heritage Action poll conducted in five swing states, 65% of likely voters are opposed to impeachment, including 68% of independents.
As Heritage Scholar Hans von Spakovsky explains, the question of impeachment is primarily a political one:
If a majority of Americans do not believe that the impeachment of a president is warranted because no actual wrongdoing has occurred (or the public believes that the alleged wrongdoing is not sufficiently serious to warrant removal from office), there seems little doubt that members of Congress pushing impeachment will be unsuccessful and may suffer damaging political consequences at the ballot box.
After Republicans tried and failed to remove Clinton through the impeachment process, they lost seats in Congress in the next election. Democratic opponents of impeaching Trump fear this could happen to them if they impeach him.
Ultimately, American voters will get the final say in November 2020. And current polling is not favorable to those members of Congress clamoring for impeachment — Americans want a secure border, not impeachment.
House and Senate Vote to Terminate National Emergency Declaration
The rate of illegal immigration is at a historical high, but Congress is obstructing President Trump’s efforts to secure the border.
In February, President Trump acted within his clear legal authority and declared a national emergency to allow the executive branch to redesignate money from other government programs in order to secure additional funds to address the humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border.
But this week, the House and Senate both passed S.J. Res 54, to terminate President Trump’s national emergency declaration. The resolution is now headed to the President’s desk where he will have the opportunity to veto it. Tim Chapman commented:
It is shameful that our lawmakers have refused to act to fix the [border] crisis...[the] Senate vote to overturn the President’s declaration has endangered our nation and prevented our law enforcement from doing its job.
In addition to S.J. Res 54, the House also passed two other bills this week that make our border less secure by making it harder for Department of Homeland Security personnel to do their job. Both H.R. 2203 and H.R. 3525 would worsen and enshrine the very “catch and release” policies that have fueled the current border crisis.
For years, Congress has failed to secure our borders, but now, Congress is actively working to make our borders less secure.
Happening on the Hill
Thank you for your continued support for conservative principles!
Tim, Jessica and the Heritage Action Team