U.S. Representatives from Washington state weigh in on impeachment inquiry vote | KNKX

U.S. Representatives from Washington state weigh in on impeachment inquiry vote

Oct 31, 2019

The House of Representatives voted Thursday 232-196 to pass a resolution formalizing its impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Just two Democrats voted no — Reps. Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey.

KNKX Public Radio has gathered remarks and formal statements from members of Congress in Washington state. (This post is developing. Check back for updates.)

UPDATE, 3:50 p.m.: It’s hard to know what kind of impact the impeachment inquiry will have on local members of Congress.

Todd Donovan, a political science professor at Western Washington University, says President Trump is unpopular in Washington state — especially Western Washington. He expects Republican members of Congress will have a tougher time with their constituents than their Democratic colleagues. How much tougher will depend on how long the inquiry pushes on, and how close it gets to the 2020 election.

“If you’re trying to run against a Republican incumbent in Washington, you’re going to do everything you can to try to link that person to Trump,” Donovan told KNKX's All Things Considered host Ed Ronco. “What’s at play here is not where Democratic voters are going, or where Republican voters are going. Their minds are made up.”

But Donovan says how independents react could make a big difference for members of Congress, especially in districts that aren’t solidly in one party’s camp. Listen to the full audio above. 

REP. DEREK KILMER (D-6TH DISTRICT)

“As the impeachment inquiry proceeds, it is important that it be transparent and fair. That’s what today’s vote was about. The first thing I did as our community’s representative was to swear an oath to uphold the constitution. I take that oath seriously.

The months ahead should not be about re-litigating the 2016 election or trying to influence the 2020 election. Rather, they should be about protecting the integrity of our democracy and the rule of law. And as someone who came here to make life better for the folks I represent, my sincere hope is that Congress continues to move forward on those vital priorities as well.”

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-7th DISTRICT)

“Today’s vote moves us into the critically important public phase of our impeachment inquiry, ensuring that the American people will hear all the facts. An impeachment inquiry is one of the most serious duties entrusted to Congress, and it is essential that we now carefully move forward with public hearings, clear rules for a fair process, and due process protections for the President.

This a solemn and grave moment, one that is absolutely needed based on the evidence we have gathered to date. The President and his acting chief of staff’s own words and testimony offered by officials under oath all paint a stunning picture of a President using the power (of) his office to further his own political interests.

The President of the United States inviting a foreign ally to interfere in our elections—using taxpayer dollars as leverage—is a gross abuse of power and a betrayal of our Constitution, values and national security.

As we move forward, my Republican colleagues must remember their oath of office calls on them to defend the Constitution, not President Trump. It’s our job as the people’s representatives to reaffirm that no one is above the law. The American people are watching.”

REP. CATHY MCMORRIS RODGERS (R-5TH DISTRICT)

“For weeks, Democrats have conducted their impeachment meetings behind closed doors. They’ve made it impossible to trust the President will ever get a fair process. This resolution allows Chairman Schiff to keep working in private and ignores the President’s due process, a fundamental right in America.

From these secret proceedings to Chairman Adam Schiff falsifying statements, this has been a hyper-partisan approach from the start. I still haven’t seen evidence of an impeachable offense. Since the President was elected, Democrats have solely focused on impeachment, instead of working in a bipartisan way to solve the real challenges Eastern Washington families face like passing USMCA, lowering prescription drug costs, and fixing a broken immigration system.”

REP. SUZAN DELBENE (D-1ST DISTRICT)

REP. KIM SCHRIER (D-8TH DISTRICT)

REP. DAN NEWHOUSE (R-4TH DISTRICT)

On Twitter, Rep. Newhouse said:

“I will not vote to rubberstamp the House Democrats’ closed-door impeachment hearings. The process approved today by House Democrats keeps Members o Congress and the millions of Americans they represent in the dark.”

Newhouse continued, saying the resolution in question “greenlights a flawed, unprecedented process that gives Chairman Schiff complete control, continues to limit the ability of Republicans to fully participate in hearings, and denies basic due process rights to the president and his counsel.”

REP. JAIME HERRERA BEUTLER (R-3RD DISTRICT)

REP. ADAM SMITH (D-9TH DISTRICT)

On Twitter, Rep. Smith said: "The President thinks he’s above the law. The American people deserve to hear the facts themselves. We must uphold the Constitution, and today’s impeachment resolution is a necessary next step towards knowing the truth."

UPDATE, 4:15 p.m.: Rep. Denny Heck (D-10th District) went on the television program "Hardball with Chris Matthews" to discuss the impeachment inquiry. 
 

NPR News contributed to this report.