The full House of Representatives got to work Wednesday morning, with the now-familiar angry squabbling over details and procedures of a vote on impeaching President Donald Trump.
The actual vote was expected to come much later in the day, after six hours of meaningful debate — three hours each for Democrats and Republicans.
Both sides expect the eventual outcome to closely follow partisan lines. Democrats hold a 36-vote majority among the House’s 435 voting members.
Trump, the 45th president of the United States, is expected to become only the third in history to be impeached. No president has ever been convicted and thrown out of office. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974, before an impeachment vote could be held.
“Based on public announcements, Democrats have enough votes to approve articles of impeachment against Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress,” the Washington Post reported. “Wednesday’s action will lead to a trial in the Republican-led Senate, where a two-thirds vote would be required to remove the president from office.”
In what the New York Times calls “an irate and rambling six-page letter” sent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday, Trump denounced the impeachment drive as “an illegal, partisan, attempted coup.”
But in the early going on Wednesday, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), chairman of the Rules Committee, said: “If a president undermining our national security and using the federal government for his own selfish personal gain is not impeachable conduct … I don’t know what is.”
In party-line procedural votes Wednesday morning, lawmakers rejected two Republican resolutions aimed at derailing the impeachment process.