The House overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to kill the measure, most Democrats joining Republicans in opposing the move.
Of Washington’s 10 U.S. House members, only Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Seattle voted for a measure Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump.
The House voted 364-58 to table the resolution, authored by Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, with most Democrats agreeing with Republicans that now is not the time to go forward with such a move.
Green said Trump had associated his presidency with efforts rooted in bigotry and racism, citing the president’s blaming both sides for violence at white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville in August, and his recent retweets of videos that purported to show violence being committed by Muslims.
“Friends, whether we like it or not, we now have a bigot in the White House who incites hatred and hostility,” Green wrote in a letter to colleagues Tuesday explaining the proposal. He added, “The question isn’t whether we have a bigot as president. The question is: What are we going to do about it?”
Most Read Local Stories
- Gov. Inslee will require Washington businesses to turn away customers without coronavirus facial coverings
- Coronavirus daily news updates, July 2: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world
- At least 80 UW students in fraternities test positive for coronavirus, a foreboding sign for college reopenings
- As cases rise, Inslee adds requirements for businesses and prepares changes to Washington's coronavirus reopening plan
- Seattle City Council won't fulfill Mayor Durkan's request to investigate Sawant, González says
In an emailed statement after Wednesday’s vote, Jayapal, a Democrat elected last year in Washington’s 7th Congressional District, said Trump has committed violations of the Constitution, including of the Foreign Emoluments clause that generally prohibits presidents from receiving payments from foreign governments.
“His administration is reckless and dangerous, and we owe it to the American people to at least begin a discussion about how to hold this President accountable for the many ways in which he is undermining our democracy and engaging in violations of our Constitution,” the statement said. “Our focus in Congress should be on fulfilling our duty to conduct strong oversight over this administration, and it is past time for Republicans to join this effort and put the country over party.”
Several House Democrats called Green’s effort premature, considering special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into possible coordination between Trump’s campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was among the opposition.
Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., said Democratic lawmakers cannot allow themselves to be drawn into a process “that’s not thoughtful or complete or might not even be the conclusion we ought to draw.”
“We ought to let Mr. Mueller complete his full investigation rather than engage in what would essentially be a public relations stunt,” Kildee said. “This is a serious thing. It ought not to be done on a whim.”
Green said afterward he would not let the vote hold him back from trying again. He proposed a similar measure in October but never demanded a vote.
Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s first name.
Material from The Associated Press contributed to this report.