Instead of Impeachment, McCarthy Wants Congress to Address Four Other Areas

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Posted: Jan 11, 2021 6:15 PM
Instead of Impeachment, McCarthy Wants Congress to Address Four Other Areas

Source: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Monday sent a letter to the Republican Caucus about the Democrats' plans to impeach President Donald Trump. Earlier in the day, House Democrats brought forward one Article of Impeachment against Trump for "inciting an insurrection."

According to McCarthy, the riots that plagued the United States Capitol on Wednesday have rightfully been denounced but action needs to be taken to prevent them from taking place in the future. He wants to see a censure from the House; a bipartisan commission to investigate why the riots took place; reform the Electoral Count Act of 1887; and legislation that will restore Americans' confidence in elections.

Below is the full letter (emphasis mine):

Colleague,

This past week has been extremely difficult for our conference and for our nation. We mourn the tragic loss of life, especially the lives of Officer Brian Sicknick and Officer Howard Liebengood of the U.S. Capitol Police. May we continue to pray for their families and loved ones. 

Having spoken to so many of you, I know we are all taking time to process the events of that day. Please know I share your anger and your pain. Zip ties were found on staff desks in my office. Windows were smashed in. Property was stolen. Those images will never leave us—and I thank our men and women in law enforcement who continue to protect us and are working to bring the sick individuals who perpetrated these attacks to justice.

In the same breath, I have also heard profound resolve from our conference in the face of this evil. From the dean of the House to our new members who were just sworn in a week ago, you feel an even deeper sense of service and move forward with a renewed clarity of purpose—both for our shared principles and for the future of our nation.

Personally, I continue to believe that an impeachment at this time would have the opposite effect of bringing our country together when we need to get America back on a path towards unity and civility. Notwithstanding the Speaker’s push towards impeachment, I have heard from members across our conference who have raised at least four potential avenues available to the House to ensure that the events of January 6 are rightfully denounced and prevented from occurring in the future. These include:

  1. A Resolution of Censure under the Rules of the House
  2. A Bipartisan Commission to Investigate the Circumstances Surrounding the Attack
  3. Reforming the Electoral Count Act of 1887, and
  4. Legislation to Promote Voter Confidence in Future Federal Elections

I thank the members who have researched and brought forth these concepts. I ask our conference to consider each on their merits and plan to discuss with all of you during our member meeting later today and ahead of votes in the House this week. 

We will also hear from Rodney Davis, our Ranking Republican on House Administration, for an update on the ongoing security posture surrounding the Capitol Complex and its employees.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Otherwise, I look forward to our conference getting together later today.

Sincerely, 

Kevin

Even though the House is scheduled to vote on impeachment on Wednesday, the point is moot, at least when it comes to the Senate. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) circulated a memo amongst Republicans about how a potential impeachment trial would work. The Senate isn't scheduled to conduct any official business until Jan. 19. There will be two pro-forma sessions – short sessions where very little business actually takes place – on Jan. 12 and 15. The only way Articles of Impeachment could be entertained on those days is if all 100 senators are in agreement. Unanimous consent is very, very unlikely.

According to McConnell's memo, impeachment proceedings wouldn't begin until after Trump is out of office, should Democrats decide to go that route.