Democratic lawmaker says he'll seek to force impeachment vote

Green already forced 2 votes

By Jeremy Herb, CNN
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Rep. Al Green (D-TX)

(CNN) - Rep. Al Green, a Texas Democrat who was among the first to call for President Donald Trump's impeachment in 2017, said Monday that he would seek to force the House to take a vote on impeachment by the end of this month.

Green said at a news conference Monday, which he posted to Facebook, that he would force a vote on impeachment, as any member of the House can bring an impeachment resolution to the floor. Green forced two procedural votes in December 2017 and January 2018 on impeaching Trump when Republicans controlled Congress, and they were both easily defeated 364-58 and 355-66.

"I'm here today to tell you I intend again to bring articles of impeachment to the floor of the house of Representatives. I will do so by the end of this month," Green said Monday. "Before the end of this month there will be another vote on the floor of the House of Representatives to impeach this president, who has demonstrated clearly that he is unfit to hold the office."

Green's desire to force an impeachment vote could create a tricky situation for House leadership and many rank-and-file Democrats who want the caucus to focus on other issues. The timing could be even further complicated because of special counsel Robert Mueller's testimony that's scheduled for July 24, the last week that the House is slated to be in session. Green said he would force the vote before the August recess.

Green is able to bring an impeachment resolution to the floor under House rules. From there, the House would have several options available, according to a Democratic aide. After the resolution is introduced, House leaders would have two legislative days to consider it, the aide said, and then either debate the resolution, vote to refer it to committee or vote to table -- in effect to kill -- the measure.

With Green's other impeachment resolutions in the previous session of Congress, the Republican-led House voted to table the resolution, where a majority of Republicans and Democrats opposed it. Referring the resolution to the Judiciary Committee could be a potential avenue this time with Democrats in control — which the House did in 2008 when then-Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio introduced a resolution to impeach President George W. Bush.

If it takes a vote either to table or refer the resolution, the House would not be voting to impeach Trump.

Green said Monday that he decided to move forward with another impeachment resolution because things "came to a boiling point," citing the President's tweets on Sunday as well as the immigration raids and other issues.

"I will again, this month, bring impeachment to a vote on the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives for bigotry in policy, harmful to our society," Green tweeted.

The question of impeachment has swirled among House Democrats since they took power this year, and now more than 80 Democrats are calling for the House to open an impeachment inquiry, the first step toward voting on articles of impeachment. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders have opposed beginning an impeachment inquiry, arguing that the public is not with them yet to take such a divisive step.

Green said he was undeterred by the speaker's opposition.

"I don't know that all of the members will be governed by one person's opinion," Green said of Pelosi. "All members should vote their conscience. And my belief is Speaker Pelosi will encourage people to vote their consciences."

This story has been updated with additional developments Monday.

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