Freshman Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA) is getting lit up in his district in local press over a lack of any commitment on which way he intends to vote when Articles of Impeachment come to a floor vote.
Lamb, who represents one of the 31 districts that President Donald Trump won in 2016, “doesn’t want to say much” about where he stands on impeachment now that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced plans to move forward on the House floor, according to a local television report in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh’s Action 4 News’ David Kaplan wrote on Tuesday:
In October, Lamb told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 he didn’t want to say much publicly about the inquiry. Now, after learning which articles will be introduced, Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 still hasn’t learned much. Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 made multiple calls over the last few days to get any sort of statement or update on where Lamb is leaning. Each of the other representatives in Western Pennsylvania has indicated which way they are leaning — along party lines.
A Lamb spokesperson has also not replied to a Breitbart News request for comment on where he intends to vote.
Lamb, who won a special election in Western Pennsylvania by pledging to oppose Pelosi for Speaker, is hardly alone in finding the position the partisan impeachment push has put them in to be a tough one.
A total of 31 Democrats currently represent districts that President Trump won in 2016, none of whom have said they intend to support impeachment on the floor at this time. Two of them joined all Republicans in the House in voting against the authorization of the actual impeachment inquiry several weeks ago, Reps. Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ) and Collin Peterson (D-MN).
Both Van Drew and Peterson are again expected to join all Republicans on the floor of the House in opposition to the increasingly partisan Articles of Impeachment on the floor next week. The only question that remains is how many Democrats, exactly, intend to break with their party and join the bipartisan opposition to impeachment of President Trump—and whether that number will be enough to stop this train in the House.
“I know a lot of Democratic members are looking at voting against it,” Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), the GOP co-chairman of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, said on CNN on Wednesday. After the CNN anchor named Van Drew and Collins as likely Democrat votes against Articles of Impeachment, she asked Reed who else among Democrats may vote against this. “I’ll let them speak for themselves,” Reed said. “I think people recognize the historic nature of impeachment and that they’re going to have to go on record on how they support that historic vote.”
On Tuesday, House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced that House Democrat leaders do not intend to whip the vote for impeachment—a sign they are just going to let members come down wherever they come down, and a sign that Democrat leaders are definitely concerned about how controversial this vote is. Hoyer also said that some Democrats may need some “massaging” on the matter.
Hoyer says that while leadership won’t whip votes on impeachment (which Clyburn already said) that doesn’t mean they don’t intend to talk to members to discuss judiciary work et al
(Isn’t that what whipping is?)
— Alana Abramson (@aabramson) December 10, 2019
I ask Hoyer if they have to do some “massaging” to get some moderate Dems to back off their suggestion that they censure the President and not impeach him.
We always have to do some massaging
Hoyer on if censure is even an option:
It’s not an alternative we’re pursuing
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) December 10, 2019
But the fact of the matter is several of the vulnerable frontline Democrats are feeling the heat and not endorsing voting for Articles of Impeachment at this time.
Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM), a freshman who represents the battleground district in New Mexico’s second that Trump won, said Tuesday night she has not committed to voting for Articles of Impeachment yet.
Torres Small said, according to local news reports in New Mexico:
This is an incredibly serious decision. I need to take my time with it, I need to listen to constituents and their concerns, and I need to make sure I am looking at the actual articles and whether the evidence actually supports the actual articles of impeachment.
Her office has similarly not replied to a request from Breitbart News on how she intends to vote.
Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH), another Democrat who represents a district Trump won in New Hampshire, also said. according to a local news report in his state, that he is not committed to voting for Articles of Impeachment yet.
WMUR in New Hampshire reported on Tuesday night:
While Kuster directly accused Trump of violating his oath of office, 1st District U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas stopped short of calling for impeachment. He promised Tuesday to review the articles of impeachment, calling it “a somber and serious day in our nation’s history.”
Pappas, serving in his first term, is running for a second term in a district that Trump won in 2016. Kuster is seeking a fifth term.
Pappas said he is focusing on his job as a member of Congress, while weighing the impeachment articles and related evidence.
Reps. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) and Lauren Underwood (D-IL), both Illinois Democrat members who represent districts that Trump won in 2016, also would not commit to voting for Articles of Impeachment on Tuesday. ABC7 in Chicago reported on both of their lack of commitment to impeachment on Tuesday evening:
Democrats Bustos and Underwood are both from districts that Donald Trump carried in 2016.
“From the beginning, I have made clear this search for the truth must be fair, evenhanded and unrushed,” Rep. Bustos said in a statement to the I-Team. “We have seen the ways President Trump abused the power of his office and today’s announcement marks a somber day for our nation. As the work of the Judiciary Committee continues, I will review their findings with the gravity a moment like this demands.”
In the first statement from freshman congresswoman Underwood’s office since impeachment proceedings began, a spokesperson said late Tuesday that “She is reviewing the articles of impeachment before she comes to a conclusion.”
Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA), a Democrat who represents a district that Trump won in 2016, also would not commit to voting for Articles of Impeachment on the day Pelosi rolled them out:
🚨"On the day Democrats in Washington unveiled two articles of impeachment, Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer's office is still not confirming if she will vote for, or against impeachment… Each time we have reached out, we have been told they cannot confirm" https://t.co/3mX0p3yOu2
— Aaron Britt (@abritt_22) December 10, 2019
Local media in Utah also report that Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT), a freshman who also represents a district that Trump won in 2016, is unsure of how he will vote.
From a report in local public radio on McAdams in Utah:
Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, said he doesn’t know how he’ll vote. The moderate is reportedly part of a group of politically vulnerable Democrats who have suggested the U.S. House of Representatives censure President Trump rather than impeach him.
Politico reports a group of roughly 10 Democratic representatives from districts that Trump won in 2016 are floating the longshot idea in order to avoid a Senate trial. Some in the group are worried a trial could make the Republican Party more popular in the run up to the 2020 election.
A spokeswoman for McAdams was unable to confirm that the congressman is part of that group, but McAdams said in a statement that he will “take the necessary time to review all the evidence and documents in advance of the final articles being referred to the full House.”
Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK), according to Fox 25 in Oklahoma City, is also undecided.
“I don’t make preemptive decisions on how I’m going to vote on any bill and I’m certainly not going to do that on something that is this serious or important,” Horn said, according to a Tuesday night report from the local Fox affiliate.
Another Tuesday evening report from New York demonstrates that Rep. Max Rose (D-NY)—who represents Staten Island, another district Trump won big in 2016—is unsure of how he will vote on the floor:
Behind sending soldiers to war, voting to impeach the president is the most serious thing a member of Congress can undertake — and I’m going to treat it as such. I will continue reviewing the Articles of Impeachment that were released this morning as well as the underlying evidence. This is about upholding my oath to the Constitution, and the last thing I will do is allow politics or artificial timelines to influence this grave decision.
This significant and growing unease in the House Democrat Conference, while not yet at a stage that could jeopardize eventual House passage of Articles of Impeachment against Trump, suggests there is a possibility the effort could be in danger given how partisan the matter has become. Since former GOP Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, now an independent, will likely vote for Articles of Impeachment and there are four House vacancies, if all members are present and voting, the Democrats need 216 votes to pass impeachment and force a trial in the U.S. Senate.
With Van Drew and Collins expected to vote against the final Articles of Impeachment, joining all Republicans in that position, Democrats cannot afford to lose 17 more members. If each of the above members—or some other combination of members from vulnerable Democrat districts like Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), who represents a battleground district in Oregon that Democrat Hillary Clinton won in 2016 but has joined other frontline Democrats in publicly floating a plan to censure Trump instead of impeaching him, band together, they could stop it in the House.
While that remains a long shot at best, some in the Trump administration hold out hope that it may end in the House given the fact there is zero chance the U.S. Senate will convict Trump because impeachment conviction advocates would need to garner 67 votes in the upper chamber to remove Trump from office. All 53 Senate Republicans are expected to at this time stick with Trump, just like how all House Republicans are expected to, and they may be joined by some Senate Democrats.
In other words, the Democrats are headed for an embarrassing loss either way this goes and may decide to let this fail in the House to avoid a nasty Senate trial that could backfire on them.