House Rules Committee Agrees to Zero of 17 Amendments to Impeachment Resolution Proposed by GOP

October 31, 2019 Updated: October 31, 2019

The House Rules Committee voted on Oct. 30 to advance the impeachment process resolution after agreeing to none of the 17 amendments proposed by Republicans.

The GOP members of the committee “showed up at committee with less than 24 hours notice prepared to have substantive, meaningful debate on the Pelosi impeachment process resolution. They offered 17 ideas to bring fairness and due process to H. Res. 660,” the group said in a statement.

“House Rules Democrats dismissed every single idea and called legitimate questions on Pelosi’s process resolution ‘sideshows’ and that the details were ‘not a big deal.’ Apparently, H. Res. 660 is nothing more than a box to check in their quest for impeachment at all costs.”

“Question for @RulesDemocrats: why bring forward a process resolution if you refuse to have a meaningful discussion on process – but rather fixate on your hatred for the president?” House Rules Republicans added. “Process matters. Details matter. Due process matters. This institution and the American people deserve better than what transpired this evening.”

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) said that nearly 3 1/2 hours of debate took place during the hearing.

“ZERO of 17 Republican amendments were agreed to by committee Democrats. And Democrats are claiming this resolution will provide the minority w/ rights,” she said.

The resolution, released on Tuesday, lays out the next phase of the impeachment inquiry against Republican President Donald Trump. It would give House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) wide ranging powers, including the authority to call closed-door or open hearings and block Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) from calling certain witnesses and asking certain questions.

Democrats currently control the House. Each committee has Democratic chairs and the party has a majority on the committees.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), ranking member of the House Rules Committee, said it was a “sad day for the Rules Committee” as members were helping in a process that has not been “fair, open, or transparent.”

Cole noted the House never voted to authorize the impeachment inquiry, calling it “an expanded fishing expedition,” and that the resolution shows the majority party “is admitting what we all know: that is the House was not following the appropriate process for impeachment.”

House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said during the hearing that the resolution would make the inquiry against Trump transparent.

The House Rules Committee holds a full committee markup of House Resolution 660 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Oct. 30, 2019. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

“I don’t know whether President Trump will be impeached,” he said. “Only the facts and how we respond to them will dictate that. But I can tell you this: the process determining whether he should be impeached will be open to public view, just as it should be.”

“When our founders drafted the Constitution, they included a process that could lead to removing a president from office if he or she abused their power. That is what separates us from so many other nations. There are no kings or queens here. No one is above the law.”

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Penn.), a member of the House Rules Committee, also pushed back on criticism of the resolution.

“Contrary to GOP talking points, the resolution offers due process protections, including subpoena authority, equal to, or greater than, those offered in prior impeachment proceedings,” she said in a statement. “The proposed procedures will promote our efforts to share the truth with the American people and prevent efforts, like those we’ve seen in recent days, to turn a most solemn constitutional process into a circus.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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