WASHINGTON – With the House impeachment vote on Wednesday, we kicked off a GOP debate on President Trump, his behavior and Trumpism.
But that debate turned into a rout – 197 House Republicans opposing Trump’s impeachment, down from 10 voting for.
Now, 10 House Republicans backing their president’s impeachment weren’t insignificant: that’s more than House Democratic defections in the impeachment of Bill Clinton (five) and GOP defections from the House during Trump’s first impeachment (zero).
Yet even without his Twitter account, even with only six days in office, even after last week’s violence and even with U.S. troops on Capitol Hill, an overwhelming majority of House Republicans have backed Trump.
But while the impeachment vote did not upset the GOP’s views on Trump – at least in the House – it did:
- Republicans admitting Joe Biden won, which many were still fighting a week ago (“Let’s be clear: Joe Biden will be sworn in as President of the United States in a week because he won the election,” said minority parliamentary leader Kevin McCarthy);
- Some Republicans also acknowledge Trump’s responsibility for last week’s insurgency (“The President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress,” McCarthy added);
- Trump posts video condemning political violence (do you think he’s posting this video if he wasn’t worried about a Senate conviction?);
- And Trump became the first US president to be impeached twice – in a single term.
Another observation from yesterday: With a few exceptions – like McCarthy and Steve Scalise – House Republicans who defended Trump and opposed his House impeachment were members of the House Freedom Caucus.
The other House GOP party leaders and many of their committee chairs did not speak, suggesting a considerable gap between leadership and the grassroots.
Will it be a different ball game in the Senate?
But as the impeachment moves on to a Senate trial, the question we ask ourselves is: Are 10 House GOP defections worth 20 Senate GOP defections?
Or just five or six?
The answer will determine whether Trump is doomed or escapes it again.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Told his GOP colleagues on Wednesday afternoon that he was still undecided whether he would vote to convict President Donald Trump in his upcoming impeachment trial “, according to NBC News.
Downloading data: the numbers you need to know today
ten: The number of House Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump on Wednesday
Less than a percentage point: The closest margin of victory in 2020 for any of those 10, for Rep. David Valadao, who took over his California seat from Democrat TJ Cox after being defeated by a narrow margin in 2018.
44 percentage points: The widest margin of victory in the 2020 general election for any of these ten, for the representative of Wyoming in general. Liz Cheney.
Eight out of 10: The number of House Republicans voting for impeachment who won their 2020 general election by more than 10 percentage points.
Eight out of 10: The number of House Republicans voting for impeachment whose congressional districts were won by Donald Trump.
Three out of 10: The number of House Republicans voting for impeachment whose states (Washington and California) have a non-partisan primary process.
1: The number of House Republicans voting for impeachment who also opposed certification of electoral votes last week.
23,184,222: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 257,795 more than yesterday morning.)
385,698: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far. (That’s 4309 more than yesterday morning.)
130,383: The number of people currently hospitalized with coronavirus.
273.75 million: The number of coronavirus tests that have been administered in the United States so far, according to researchers from the COVID Tracking Project.
At least 10.3 million: The number of people in the United States who have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
6: The number of days until the day of the inauguration.
Walking and chewing gum at the same time
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear on Wednesday that he would not recall the Senate to hear a trial over President Trump’s impeachment before January 19.
It’s the same day that four Senate confirmation hearings are scheduled for Cabinet candidates Biden.
“Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and unfold quickly, no final verdict would be made until President Trump stepped down. It is not a decision that I am making; it’s a fact, ”McConnell said in a statement.
On Wednesday night, Biden drew his own line: find a way to hear the trial and keep order.
“I hope the Senate leadership will find a way to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities for impeachment while also working on the other pressing matters of this nation,” Biden said.
Basically: Lawmakers often joke about being able to walk and chew gum at the same time. The start of Biden’s tenure may be the occasion to prove it.
By the way, here are the upcoming Senate Confirmation Hearings, by NBC’s Geoff Bennett:
Avril Haines (Director of National Intelligence) – 2 p.m., Intelligence Senate
Janet Yellen (Treasury) – 10 a.m., Senate Finance
Alejandro Mayorkas (DHS) – 10:00 a.m., Senate Homeland Security
Lloyd Austin (Defense) – 3 a.m., Senate Armed Services
Tony Blinken (State) – 2 p.m., Senate External Relations
Tweet of the day
The cover: the ten
Don’t miss yesterday’s pod, when we watched what the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach the president do and don’t have in common.
ICYMI: What else is going on in the world
What happens next in the Senate? It looks like a heavyweight.
Joe Biden says he wants to take charge of the Covid allegations and confirmations while allowing lawmakers to fulfill their “constitutional responsibilities” in the event of impeachment.
And Biden plans to include a major new benefit for children from poor households and the middle class.
Trump condemned the violence in a new video – but didn’t mention the impeachment vote.
The Capitol Riot may be the beginning – not the end – of a new evolution of the QAnon movement.
The New York Times portrays Lauren Boebert.
Here’s what former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has been blamed for in the Flint water crisis.