The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to set aside an impeachment resolution against President Donald Trump, with 137 Democrats joining Republicans to table a vote that was brought by Democratic Representative Al Green, Reuters reported.
The House voted 332 to 95 to set aside the measure.
The vote was in response to a resolution, passed the day before, that condemned Trump’s tweets targeting four Democratic Congresswomen of colour. The measure was the first House rebuke of a president in more than 100 years
“The United States House of Representatives has just overwhelmingly voted to kill the Resolution on Impeachment, 332-95-1,” Trump said in a tweet. “This is perhaps the most ridiculous and time consuming project I have ever had to work on. Impeachment of your President, who has led the Greatest Economic BOOM in the history of our Country, the best job numbers, biggest tax reduction, rebuilt military and much more, is now OVER. This should never be allowed to happen to another President of the United States again!”
Green was reportedly seeking to capitalise on growing criticism of Trump with the vote. He had already failed twice before to get an impeachment resolution passed. However, Wednesday marked the first time that the full House had addressed the matter since Democrats took the majority earlier this year.
Out of the House’s 235 Democrats, 137 voted along with Republicans to table Green’s impeachment resolution. But, 95 Democrats opposed setting the measure aside. One Democrat voted present.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to restrain Democrats from initiating the impeachment process against Trump. She said a House Judiciary Committee should first investigate whether Trump had colluded with Russia in its meddling in the 2016 presidential election and whether he had obstructed Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the matter in the same before impeachment could be considered.
“As I have said over and over again, with all the respect in the world for Mr. Green..., we have six committees that are working on following the facts in terms of any abuse of power, obstruction of justice and the rest that the president may have engaged in. That is the serious path that we are on,” Pelosi was quoted as saying by Reuters.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn also reiterated Pelosi’s arguments that he did not think lawmakers were ready to debate impeachment, as the Congress is scheduled to hear from Mueller in testimony next week.
Ahead of the vote, Green had dismissed calls from within his party to hold off on the resolution, CNN reported.
“I should not hold off, we should go forward as expeditiously as possible and we should do so because on yesterday we convicted the President,” Green told CNN. “As a result of what we did yesterday, the President suffers no harm, he doesn’t have to pay any fine, he’s not going to lose his job. But today we have the opportunity to punish.”
“In my opinion, it didn’t fail,” Green was quoted as saying by The Guardian. “In my opinion, we got 95 votes this time, 66 the last time. So that’s a plus. But whether we get 95 or five, the point is we have to make a statement.”
Green maintained that his effort had nothing to do with Mueller’s investigation, but that he was concentrated on Trump’s attacks on the congresswomen, which he said demonstrated that Trump was unfit to be a president.
Although Trump did not mention any names in his tweets on Sunday, most reports claimed that he was referring to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar. He asked the four to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”. Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Pressly were born in the United States while Omar moved to the country from Somalia in her childhood. All four were elected to US Congress in 2018.