House Democrats have finally released the text of the impeachment resolution they plan to bring to a floor vote hours after top GOP leaders wrote a letter accusing them of failing to abide by House rules.
The resolution directs “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.”
The resolution also gives the House Judiciary Committee the ability to report the articles of impeachment or any other recommendations to the full House of Representatives “as it deems proper.”
Earlier Tuesday, before the release of the measure, top House Republicans wrote in a letter to Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, saying that the House Democrats’ failure to post the text of the resolution 72 hours before a vote was in violation of House rules, CBS News reported.
The House Rules Committee plans to “mark up” the bill on Wednesday before it is brought to the full House vote.
The resolution text says that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff “shall designate an open hearing or hearings” to conduct a transparent investigation and both Republicans and Democrats will have “equal specified periods of longer than five minutes” to question any witnesses.
House Republicans have been critical of the closed-door impeachment proceedings the past few weeks and even stormed a private meeting last Wednesday.
“Voting members of Congress are being denied access from being able to see what’s happening behind these closed doors where they’re trying to impeach the president of the United States with a one-sided set of rules,” Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana said, according to Fox News, before the group of 30 lawmakers pushed their way inside.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended the impeachment proceedings and announced on Monday that there will be a vote on the floor on Thursday.
“For weeks, the President, his Counsel in the White House, and his allies in Congress have made the baseless claim that the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry ‘lacks the necessary authorization for a valid impeachment proceeding,’” Pelosi wrote in a “Dear Democratic Colleague” letter.
“They argue that, because the House has not taken a vote, they may simply pretend the impeachment inquiry does not exist. This argument has no merit.”
According to ABC News, it is unclear whether Democrats will have enough votes to pass the resolution without the help of any Republicans.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, the Maryland Democrat who controls the House floor schedule, told reporters on Tuesday that he did not know if a vote would be taking place in two days.
“We are going to have to consider whether or not it is ready to go on Thursday,” Hoyer said, according to the Washington Examiner.
If there is no vote on Thursday, the House is closed on Friday and will be in recess the following week.
That means there would be no vote until at least Nov. 12, after the Veterans Day holiday.
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