House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is withholding the articles of impeachment passed in the House of Representatives from the Senate, and even threatening to hold them indefinitely. In response to Pelosi’s decision, Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, introduced a resolution on the Senate floor to update the Senate rules on impeachment.
The resolution was co-sponsored by 10 other Senators including: Sens. Rick Scott, R-Fla., Mike Braun, R-Ind., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Steve Daines, R-Mont., John Barrasso R-Wyo., Tom Cotton R-Ark., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, David Perdue, R-Ga., and Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.
The proposed resolution would set a time limit for the House of Representatives to transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate. The resolution would allow the House 25 calendars days, from the day the articles were adopted, to transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate. After those 25 days have expired, Senators would be allowed to create a motion to dismiss the articles of impeachment.
This resolution is aimed at combatting future House Speakers from withholding impeachment articles and slowing down the impeachment process. Speaker Pelosi called the impeachment process urgent, and she’s correct, it should be. If a President commits high crimes or misdemeanors, impeachment should be a thorough, yet fast-acting, process. But, by withholding articles of impeachment, Democrats are showing their true motives. They aren’t about urgently removing a corrupt President, but about the Democrat’s rejection of the 2016 election results.
“By failing to deliver the articles of impeachment, the Democrats are admitting they bumbled their partisan impeachment. If the articles aren’t delivered in a timely manner, they should be dismissed,” said Cotton in a press release.
On Monday afternoon, Hawley introduced the impeachment resolution to the Senate floor. He explained the key points of the resolution, but most importantly, he explained why this resolution needs to be adopted. Hawley said the only true urgency of Democrats was to uphold a partisan agenda, which must not be allowed in future impeachment trials.
“What was urgent was filling the partisan vendetta … that’s what was urgent,” Hawley said.
The Senate’s set of 26 impeachment rules require 67 “yeas” to change a rule. But this resolution would be an alteration to the impeachment rules, not an addition, so it’s unclear if this vote would be subject to the required 67 votes or if a simple majority would do the trick. With only 53 Republican Senators, it may be difficult to move forward with the proposed resolution without bi-partisan support.