The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday voted to approve a resolution put forth by Democrats that sets the rules and processes of the official impeachment inquiry aimed at President Donald Trump.
The final vote of 232 to 196 was along strict party lines, with just two Democrats voting against the resolution, no Republicans voting in favor, and the chamber's lone Independent, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, voting 'aye.'
THE DEM IMPEACHMENT MEASURE has passed. 232-196. Rs united in opposition. Two Dems — Van Drew and Peterson — vote with Republicans.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) October 31, 2019
In response to the vote, grassroots groups like By The People and CREDO Action heralded the Democrats for pushing the ball forward on Trump's impeachment.
"Every day Trump remains in office is another day he subverts our democracy, endangers our lives, and betrays our country for his own personal benefit," said Alexandra Flores-Quilty, the group's executive director. "If we don't act, Trump will be emboldened to commit further abuses of power and his actions will become the new normal."
The impeachment process, Flores-Quilty added, "is our tool to stop what we cannot tolerate and we demand a government that serves the interests of the people instead of dangerous and corrupt politicians like Trump."
According to a statement by CREDO Action co-director Heidi Hess, Thursday's vote proves three key things:
First, the majority of House members are now publicly in line with the majority of Americans who are ready to impeach Donald Trump. Second, the Republican Party is completely captured by the corrupt bigot who leads it, and not a single Republican can be counted on to choose our democracy over their Party. And finally that Speaker Pelosi can whip her caucus on impeachment anytime she wants to—it's time to put broad articles of impeachment that encompass all of Trump's high crimes and misdemeanors on the House floor for a vote. We are at a critical moment where we can set a precedent that Trump's abuses in all their forms are unacceptable for whoever holds the office of the president. We can't wait any longer; Donald Trump needs to be impeached and removed.
And the group tweeted:
This isn't an #ImpeachmentVote, it's just the first step - the formal beginning of the public stage of investigation.
No one is above the law. Democrats must hold Trump accountable, and must do it quickly. https://t.co/W0fkq3WvKE
— CREDO Mobile (@CREDOMobile) October 31, 2019
"This resolution ensures transparency, advancing public disclosure of deposition transcripts, and outlying the procedures for the transfer of evidence to the judiciary committee to use in its proceedings," said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who presided over the final vote, during her remarks during the floor debate ahead of the tally.
"It enables effective public hearings setting out procedures for the questioning of witnesses and continuing the precedent of giving the minority the same rights in questioning witnesses as the majority," she continued. "Which has been true at every step of this inquiry despite what you might hear."
Watch the debate and vote:
"Today's vote is a defining moment for every member of the U.S. House of Representatives," said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause, in a statement released just ahead of the vote.
"History is watching as Republican Members will weigh the choice of casting a vote for their country or for their party," Hobert Flynn added. "Amidst a growing list of witnesses testifying about shocking abuses of power by the Trump administration and the president’s inner circle and seismic shifts in public disapproval of the president’s conduct, this is the first time many Members will be asked to cast a formal vote that will put them on the right—or wrong—side of history."