The House of Representatives started their chamber’s legislative session on Wednesday morning in prayer, as they often do, asking God to give each of the members wisdom and guidance. They are going to need it—especially today—as the members are set to vote to impeach President Trump for allegedly abusing his office and obstructing congressional investigations.
The charges were decided upon by the Democratic majority on the House Judiciary Committee concerning a phone call Trump shared with the Ukrainian president and the White House’s noncompliance with congressional subpoenas for documents and witness testimony.
The looming vote was on everyone’s mind as business was initiated on Wednesday, which saw a pair of votes to adjourn (which failed) and one to initiate a debate on the impeachment effort (which passed). No Republicans voted to proceed with impeachment.
Now members are gathering on the House floor for a scheduled 6 hours of debate.
This time is likely to include comments from both Republican and Democratic members on the issue of impeachment and members making their case for or against it.
According to Politico, the final vote is expected to take place this evening around 6:30 to 7:30 pm EST.
The debate on the House floor is set to last at least six hours, and the final votes are expected to take place between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. https://t.co/ZyXYctTo4W
— POLITICO (@politico) December 18, 2019
According to the report, the vote is expected to pass with only Democratic support.
“With the votes, which are expected to fall largely along party lines, Trump will become just the third president to be impeached — after Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. He likely will also become the first to campaign for reelection after facing the House’s ultimate punishment,” Politico reports.
The vote will also make Trump the first president impeached on a strictly partisan vote, perhaps offering a precedent to future instances where a Congress opposes a president.
It’s the culmination of Democrats’ yearlong string of Trump-focused investigations overseen by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a skilled political tactician who remained reluctant to embrace impeachment until September, when allegations were unearthed about Trump’s conduct toward Ukraine.
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Even with the president heading to the Senate for a trial and likely acquittal, House Democrats have vowed to continue their impeachment probes — particularly those focused on former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and potential obstruction of justice by the president.
Leading up to Wednesday’s vote, nearly every moderate and swing-district Democrat declared his or her support for the impeachment articles — an indication that Democratic leaders were successful in holding their caucus together amid fears that several members would peel off. Republicans, meanwhile, are poised to vote uniformly against impeachment after weeks of a feverish whip operation by GOP leaders who “kept a close pulse on the entire conference,” according to a Republican source.
Watch the live debate below: