WASHINGTON (CBS) – The House overwhelmingly blocked a vote to move ahead with articles of impeachment against President Trump on Wednesday, after Democratic Texas Rep. Al Green introduced the measure on Tuesday evening.
The vote was 332 to 95, with most Democrats voting alongside Republicans to table the measure. The 95 Democrats who voted not to table the measure would have supported moving ahead with the articles of impeachment, either by holding a vote on them today or referring them to the committee.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler was one of the representatives who voted to move forward. His committee would be the one to initiate impeachment proceedings. He has not publicly said he supports impeachment.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, told reporters Wednesday that he’d like to send the issue to the Judiciary Committee first.
“I don’t know whether we’re going to vote on it,” he said in response to a question about impeachment. He added, “In my view, this is going to have to be resolved in the first instance by, the Judiciary Committee.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Democrat of Washington, said that although she signed onto Green’s articles of impeachment in the last cycle, she is “really focused on making sure we get Robert Mueller in (to testify). And so, I just want to make sure we don’t do anything that affects that.”
Green, in filing the articles of impeachment said Tuesday, “If you did what the president has done, you will be punished. What we have done so far does not find him.”
Green introduced the articles immediately after the House voted to condemn Mr. Trumpfor writing in tweets that four progressive congresswomen should “go back” to their home countries, even though all American citizens and three were born in the U.S.
The measure passed by a vote of 240 to 187, with every Democratic member voting in favor. The four Republicans who voted to approve the measure were Reps. Will Hurd of Texas, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Fred Upton of Michigan and Susan Brooks of Indiana.
Even though the majority of the Democratic caucus remains opposed to impeachment, Green said Wednesday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had not discouraged him from introducing the articles of impeachment.
“The speaker and I respect each other. I believe she’s doing what she thinks is right. And I’m doing what I think is right,” Green told reporters.
“It just seemed to me that we should bring these articles before the House of Representatives, so that we could not only condemn him, but impeach him, so that he will understand that there are some boundaries because, as we speak now, there don’t appear to be boundaries, or at least it appears that the president doesn’t perceive any boundaries,” Green remarked.
Any member of the House can try to force an impeachment vote. Green has unsuccessfully tried to force an impeachment vote twice before. CBS News’ Rebecca Kaplan notes that Green used a procedural mechanism Tuesday known as a privileged resolution, which means that it must be considered within two days. Only certain types of bills can be brought with this procedure.