Progressive Democrats in Congress directed contempt at several of their centrist colleagues for holding a meeting Monday where they discussed censuring President Donald Trump for his alleged attempt to bribe the Ukrainian government rather than impeaching him.
According to Politico, the conservative Democrats attending the meeting included Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.), and Ben McAdams (D-Utah.), who represent districts that Trump won in 2016.
Progressive Democrats offered little sympathy to the members, who are potentially vulnerable in their 2020 re-election campaigns.
"I have 15-year-olds in my district that get sent to Rikers because they jump a turnstile and they can't afford $2.75," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), suggesting the president—who many critics said should be impeached over alleged emolument violations, numerous allegations of sexual assault, and obstruction of justice—must be held accountable for his alleged crimes just as far less privileged Americans are every day.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the moderate Dem proposal to censure Trump rather than impeach him:
“I have 15-year-olds in my district that get sent to Rikers because they jump a turnstile and they can’t afford $2.75.”https://t.co/PSNvyDZso2
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) December 11, 2019
The push to appease Trump and his 2016 supporters is "exactly why some people hate Democrats," said Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
This one wins the stupidest idea of the month prize. Exactly why some people hate Democrats. https://t.co/aTkoAhXL9T
— Mark Pocan (@MarkPocan) December 11, 2019
Schrader told reporters he viewed a censure resolution as "certainly appropriate and [possibly] a little more bipartisan."
But a day after Democrats unveiled the articles of impeachment against Trump, and with only two Democrats confirming they will vote against impeaching him, a censure resolution is unlikely to gain bipartisan support.
House Republicans are not actively pursuing a censure vote as an alternative to impeachment, Politico reported.
Monday's meeting was reportedly attended by about 10 conservative Democrats, suggesting the group is short of the 18 votes they would need to block impeachment.
Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) called the idea of a censure resolution "just frankly one of the dumbest ideas I've heard in a long, long time."
"This is a president fundamentally misusing his office and obstructing Congress, involving our national security and the integrity of our democracy," Huffman told the Huffington Post. "If you can't move to impeachment on something like this, frankly, we just shouldn't take your ideas seriously."