“Enabling president’s unhinged, unstable, and deranged acts”: GOP blocks measure urging Pence to invoke 25th Amendment

"Their complicity endangers America, erodes our democracy, and it must end."

A Republican congressman from West Virginia on Monday blocked a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Donald Trump from office, a move that came as Democratic lawmakers unveiled articles of impeachment against the president that are expected to receive a vote later this week.

In a brief session Monday morning, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) requested unanimous consent to pass a measure (pdf) urging Pence to “convene and mobilize the principal officers of the executive departments of the Cabinet to activate section 4 of the 25th Amendment to declare [Trump] incapable of executing the duties of his office.”

Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.)—one of more than 100 House Republicans who voted last week to toss Arizona and Pennsylvania’s electoral votes—objected to the request.

In response to Mooney’s objection, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement that House Republicans are “enabling the president’s unhinged, unstable, and deranged acts of sedition to continue.”

“Their complicity endangers America, erodes our democracy, and it must end,” Pelosi added.

Having failed to pass the measure by unanimous consent, House Democrats are expected to bring the 25th Amendment resolution to the floor for a full vote today, followed by a vote on articles of impeachment as soon as Wednesday.

As Politico reported Monday, at least 218 House Democrats have signed on to Rep. David Cicilline’s (D-R.I.) impeachment article, which charges Trump with “inciting violence against the government of the United States.”

“Tomorrow, the House will vote on [the 25th Amendment] resolution in person and we expect it to pass,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted Monday. “Then on Wednesday, we expect to vote on impeachment articles, which we also expect to pass. There can be no healing without accountability.”

While Pelosi has committed to holding a vote to impeach Trump if Pence refuses to act, critics have chastised Democratic leaders for not moving more swiftly and forcefully in the wake of the deadly mob attack on the U.S. Capitol last week.

Murshed Zaheed, managing principal at progressive media firm Megaphone Strategies, argued that the unanimous consent request for the 25th Amendment measure was “an idiotic move that was going to fail with no upside” and called Democratic leaders “lollygaggers.”

“Pelosi just wasted another day when she should have moved on this front immediately following the insurrection,” said Zaheed, who is hardly the only progressive criticizing the speed with which House Democrats have moved on articles of impeachment.

There is no time to wait. Donald Trump must be impeached immediately. My statement on behalf of @MoveOn: pic.twitter.com/TmNnT2FC2Q
—Rahna Epting (@rahnamepting) January 11, 2021

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said Monday that pressuring Pence and members of the Cabinet to take action against Trump is a lost cause and called on members of Congress to act as quickly as possible to impeach and remove the president.

“Pence isn’t going to do the right thing, so we must,” said Jayapal. “We need to impeach Donald Trump right now.”

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Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams. Follow him on Twitter: @johnsonjakep.

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