The resolution considered on the floor of the House of Representatives, H.Res. 755, has two articles: 1) abuse of power, and 2) obstruction of Congress. After careful consideration of the evidence, I voted no on H.Res. 755.
- Abuse of power: Democrats have yet to present any evidence that President Trump abused his power. In fact, everything we have seen thus far paints the opposite picture. Ukraine President Zelensky has stated multiple times publicly that he never felt pressure from President Trump to complete any task for the United States. Further, at the time of the July 25 call between the two leaders, Ukrainian officials did not even know that security assistance was paused. Finally, no Ukrainian investigation was ever initiated. Aid was delivered and no investigation took place. I fail to see the connection the Democrats are trying to make here that would rise to an impeachable offense.
- Obstruction of Congress: There are perfectly legitimate avenues to resolve differences between branches of government. When administration officials did not make themselves available for a partisan, predetermined investigation, House Democrats chose to pursue the most drastic of options, instead of the appropriate and constitutional option that is available when two co-equal branches of government disagree: letting the judiciary branch decide. This move again showed me that Democrats were looking for any reason to impeach this President rather than trying to conduct a serious and honest investigation.
When I first came to Congress, I had an idea of what my service might look like. I envisioned preserving our western way of life, fighting for what makes this country great, and advancing common causes that move us forward together. I have been honored to represent Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District and, with each vote I take, I consider how my actions will further the interests of my constituents. I have been fortunate to be a part of many historic votes that went on to make a real difference for Americans. Among my proudest moments in Congress are the protection of the Cecil D. Andrus Boulder-White Clouds Wilderness area, supporting historic mission growth at the Idaho National Laboratory, ending the practice of “fire-borrowing” so that wildfires are now treated like other natural disasters, and reigning in harmful EPA regulations. When Congress does its job, the American people benefit.
Regarding impeachment, the House took another historic vote. Unfortunately, this vote does more damage than good and further divides our country. A group of Democrats, members of the House and my colleagues, have taken their displeasure with the results of the 2016 presidential election and plunged our nation into a vicious debate, one that started before the president was even sworn into office. Facts are sacrificed for political grandstanding, the personal character of opponents is impugned, and the media tells whichever side of the story it prefers. Speaker Nancy Pelosi set a requirement that for impeachment to proceed, there needed to be bipartisan support. Today, we don’t have bipartisan support for impeachment, in fact, the only bipartisan vote today is AGAINST impeachment. I am gravely disappointed. Introducing articles of impeachment is one of the most solemn powers of Congress, ranking in importance alongside the power to declare war.
I do not take this process lightly. In the absence of evidence proving President Trump abused his power or obstructed Congress, Democrats have pushed forward looking for a political victory. Speaker Pelosi and her caucus disagree with President Trump’s policies and they clearly don’t like his style—they’ve made that clear since he was duly elected by the American people. But a difference in opinion is not proof of a crime. I reiterate, a difference in opinion is NOT proof of a crime. Our elections are what make America great, and though politics can be ugly, we do not engage in personality-based coups. To see the proud legislative tradition of the House of Representatives reduced to a one-sided smear campaign is frightening; to see it used to undermine an election is beyond disturbing.
It bears noting, that while Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler have led us all into this political circus, President Trump has stayed the course. Despite being the target of impeachment talk since the very beginning of his term, he has seated two accomplished U.S. Supreme Court Justices, secured a bipartisan budget deal, enacted historic tax cuts and reforms, negotiated a better deal for the United States with the USMCA, reduced illegal border crossings, and rebuilt our military, not to mention the benefits of a consistently strong and growing economy—something ALL Americans currently enjoy. One can’t help but imagine what more could be accomplished if House Democrats weren’t distracted by a crisis of their own making.
So, as the House of Representatives votes to impeach a president, I am compelled to reflect on the reasons we are all sent here. Our job is to legislate, and this impeachment sham is not worthy of our time. Now that the House has wasted 85 days on this process, it is imperative that we get back to work addressing the real issues this country faces, like immigration, healthcare and our crumbling infrastructure. The future of our nation, and the integrity of our Constitution, depend on it.