Newswire: Rep. Sewell introduces H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, to restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Terri Sewell

  Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) introduced H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. This critical legislation would restore key protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) which were gutted by the Supreme Court in the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision and more recently in the 2021 Brnovich v. DNC decision. The bill aims to protect voters from discrimination by restoring and strengthening the protections of the VRA. The introduction of H.R. 4 comes amid the most coordinated state-level effort to restrict the right to vote in generations and follows a months-long investigation by the House Committee on Administration and House Committee on the Judiciary into the status of voting rights in America. The bill enjoys support from over 190 original co-sponsors including all members of House Democratic leadership. The House is expected to vote on H.R. 4 next week.   “The right to vote is the most sacred and fundamental right we enjoy as American citizens and one that the Foot Soldiers fought, bled, and died for in my hometown of Selma, Alabama,” said Rep. Sewell. “Today, old battles have become new again as we face the most pernicious assault on the right to vote in generations. It’s clear: federal oversight is urgently needed. With the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, we’re standing up and fighting back. By preventing states with a recent history of voter discrimination from restricting the right to vote, this bill restores the full promise of our democracy and advances the legacy of those brave Foot Soldiers like John Lewis who dedicated their lives for the sacred right to vote. I’m proud to be introducing this bill today and look forward to its swift passage. Our democracy is at stake.”   For decades, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) ensured equal access to the ballot box for Black and minority voters by requiring states and localities with a history of voter discrimination—as determined in Section 4—to obtain pre-clearance from the Department of Justice before making changes to their voting laws. However, in its infamous 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority struck down Section 4, arguing that voter discrimination was an issue of the past and that the formula used to determine which states and localities were subject to preclearance was outdated.   On July 1, 2021, in its decision in Brnovich v. DNC, the Supreme Court struck another devastating blow to the VRA, upholding Arizona’s voting laws targeting Latino and other minority voters and making it more difficult for parties to challenge racially discriminatory voting laws under Section 2.    Beginning in April, the House Committee on Administration Subcommittee on Elections held a series of investigatory hearings and collected numerous reports and documents regarding the status of voting rights in America. The hearings culminated in a report which the Committee released on Friday, August 6, detailing modern-day efforts to restrict the right to vote. Meanwhile, the House Committee on the Judiciary also held hearings on the need to protect the right to vote.   Informed by these findings, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore protections of the VRA gutted by the Supreme Court. It would once again prohibit states and localities with a recent history of voter discrimination from restricting the right to vote by including an updated formula for determining which states and localities are subject to federal oversight. It would also amend Section 2 of the VRA to eliminate the heightened standard for challenging voter discrimination that the Supreme Court created in its decision in Brnovich v. DNC.   The introduction of H.R. 4 comes amid the most coordinated state-level effort to restrict the right to vote in generations. Driven by the Big Lie, 18 states have enacted at least 30 new restrictive, anti-voter laws just this year.   A previous version of H.R. 4 passed in the House of Representatives during the 116th Congress by a vote of 228-187, but stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate. Last year, the bill was renamed the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to honor the legacy of civil rights icon and former Congressman John Robert Lewis who passed away on July 17, 2020.   “The House today is taking a momentous step to secure the sacred right to vote for generations to come,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “With the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, proudly introduced today by Congresswoman Terri Sewell alongside Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, Democrats are fighting back against an anti-democratic tide, protecting access to the ballot box for every American and carrying on the cause to which our beloved John Lewis devoted his entire life.  When the House returns on August 23rd, Democrats plan to pass H.R. 4 – and we hope it can secure the bipartisan support this vital legislation deserves.”   The House is expected to vote on the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act next week.

Newswire: With 17% of Black families reporting a lack of food, Biden Administration gives SNAP biggest increase in history

By Stacy M. Brown NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Seventeen percent of Black families in America still report not having enough food to eat – surpassing the 10 percent of all U.S. citizens with the same problem. But that dire circumstance could change starting in October when the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program receives its most significant increase in history. The Biden-Harris administration has approved an average 25 percent increase in benefits that should allow families more resources to purchase food. It marks the first time the benefit – commonly known as SNAP – increased since the program began in 1975. “Ensuring low-income families have access to a healthy diet helps prevent disease, supports children in the classroom, reduces health-care costs and more,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement. “And the additional money families will spend on groceries helps grow the food economy, creating thousands of new jobs along the way.” A U.S. Department of Agriculture study revealed that 88 percent of SNAP recipients struggled to obtain a healthy diet. Officials said recipients would receive an average of $147, or $36 more per month than they previously received. Vilsack said the department based the updated benefits formula on current food prices, dietary guidance, and nutrients found in food items. “Today is a day of great progress for struggling families across the nation, who will soon see a permanent and substantial increase to their monthly SNAP benefits for the first time ever,” noted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “Thanks to the Biden Administration strengthening this important lifeline, parents will be able to afford healthy food for their families, and children will not have to go to bed hungry.” More than 42 million Americans receive SNAP – more commonly known as food stamps. The number of recipients rose approximately 15 percent from February 2020, when the pandemic began, to April 2021. Government officials estimate that 80 percent of those who receive SNAP benefits work and have children, those with disabilities, and seniors on fixed incomes. The Biden-Harris administration asserted that the increase is another tool in the fight against poverty, and it provides children with better food selections. “This program was incredibly important for Americans,” Vilsack insisted. “The pandemic sort of shocked people from thinking, ‘I would never be involved in the SNAP program.”

Newswire: White House says $44 Billion still available to avoid evictions

By: Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Editor Note: At press time, the CDC extended the eviction moratorium until October 3, 2021.

House and Senate Democrats are looking to the White House to immediately act to stop evictions after the federal moratorium expired on July 31. But President Joe Biden said a recent Supreme Court ruling means the administration cannot unilaterally extend the moratorium.

For his part, the President has called on state and local governments to resolve the problem.

The White House said the American Rescue Plan provided $47 billion in rental assistance earlier this year, but states and localities have used just $3 billion.

“We as a country have never had a national infrastructure or national policy preventing avoidable evictions,” American Rescue Plan Coordinator Gene Sperling responded in a White House briefing on Monday, August 2.

“State and local governments must do more to help,” Sperling asserted. It’s not currently known just how many Americans face eviction, but leaders in the House and Senate have urged the White House to act.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said she believes about 11 million families are affected. “As they have called upon the American people to mask up, to be vaccinated and to take other public health precautions, it is critical, in recognition of this urgency, that they extend the eviction moratorium,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) stated in an August 2 letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Putting people on the streets contributes to the spread of the virus,” Pelosi wrote.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki stated that the administration had taken further action to prevent Americans from experiencing eviction. Psaki said nearly 33 percent of the country wouldn’t face eviction through August.

“Thanks to the bipartisan COVID relief act Congress passed in December 2020 and the American Rescue Plan the Biden administration enacted in March, state and local governments long ago received emergency rental assistance – a $46.5 billion plan to protect millions of Americans facing deep rental debt and potential eviction during the pandemic,” Psaki continued.

Some cities and states have “demonstrated their ability to release these funds efficiently to tenants and landlords in need,” Psaki further insisted. “But even though funds began to be distributed in February by the Biden administration, too many states and cities have been too slow to act,” she determined.

Psaki continued: “There is no excuse for any state or locality not to promptly deploy the resources that Congress appropriated to meet the critical need of so many Americans.

“This assistance provides the funding to pay landlords current and back rent so tenants can remain in their homes or apartments, not be evicted.

“No one in America should be evicted when federal funds are available, in the hands of state and local government, to pay back rent due.”

While Congresswoman Pelosi has asked President Biden to act, Psaki said he would have strongly supported a decision by the CDC to extend the eviction moratorium.

“Unfortunately, the Supreme Court declared on June 29 that the CDC could not grant such an extension without clear and specific congressional authorization via new legislation,” Psaki said.

Because of the spread of the Delta variant, President Biden asked the CDC to consider executive action. The White House said he raised the prospect of a new, 30-day eviction moratorium focused on counties with high or substantial case rates.

Psaki said the temporary measure would spur states and localities to ramp up emergency rental assistance programs to full spend – allowing every landlord to collect the rent they are owed and ensuring no eligible family gets evicted.

“To date, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and her team have been unable to find legal authority for a new, targeted eviction moratorium,” Psaki stated.

Newswire: It’s not over: as video champions new attacks, Biden-Harris Inauguration to be held outside

By Hazel Trice Edney

Right-wing group attacks Capitol on Jan. 6 ( Photo by Hamil/Trice Edney Communications) and Insurrectionists carry Confederate flag in Capitol attack

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – A futuristic video circulating on social media early this week features the voice of President Donald Trump calling for a “Day of Reawakening” on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2021.
The three-minute video, which features images of people dressed in Trump t-shirts, hats and other paraphernalia concludes with the apparent voice of Donald Trump encouraging them to not be afraid and saying that “God will protect you.”
This kind of rhetoric has heated up since the Jan. 6 violent insurrection in which thousands of vastly White Trump supporters showed up at the U. S. Capitol where thousands rioted, vandalized and assaulted police officers. Five people died as a result of the riot; including a Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries he received while fighting off insurgents. Another officer, Howard Liebengood, died by suicide three days after the riot.
Widespread reports, including from NBC and CNN, say the FBI has warned of more likely terrorist attacks, insurrections and riots leading up to the presidential inauguration and on that day, Jan. 20. These riots are being planned for all 50 capital cities as well as the U. S. Capitol.
President Biden says he will still hold the inauguration outside of the Capital despite continued threats. A possible 15,000 National Guard troops are expected to guard the Capitol during the ceremony. People are being encouraged to watch the swearing in on television.
Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats and some Republicans are moving ahead with the impeachment of Trump for the charge, “Incitement of insurrection” for his verbal encouragement that resulted in the rioters storming the Capitol. He would be the first U. S. president to be impeached twice. Trump has repeatedly told his supporters the lie that his election “was stolen” from them.
Members of Congress may also face punishment for their words that day, namely Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who doubled down on Trumps lie, claiming the election was stolen and led the vote against the certification of the Biden-Harris election. Some members of Congress insist that to also have been insurrection, which the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, Section 3, cites as a reason for expulsion from the seats they hold.
The Fourteenth Amendment states: “No Person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”
The “Day of Reawakening” video went dead shortly after the social media website, Parler, was taken offline on Monday. Twitter and Facebook also shut down President Donald Trump’s accounts, blocking tens of millions of his followers. But tech experts believe these actions will simply drive Trump supporters and possible rioters to other more obscure platforms where law enforcement investigators can not easily track and monitor their organizational activities.
A string of arrests has taken place since Monday, mainly of people involved in the Capitol break in and the threats on the lives of members of Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who they threatened to shoot, and also threats against the life of Vice President Mike Pence, who they threatened to hang for certifying the Electoral College confirmation of the Biden-Harris election. At least two Capitol police officers have been suspended and about 10 others are under investigation for their apparent involvement in the insurrection.
Black leaders around the country, are calling for Trump’s immediate removal. They are also raising questions about why the Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies were not better prepared and more aggressive against the perpetrators as they have been against Black Lives Matter protestors.
“What we are witnessing at this moment is the manifestation and culmination of reckless leadership, a pervasive misuse of power, and anarchy. This is not protesting or activism; this is an insurrection, an assault on our democracy, and a coup incited by President Trump,” said NAACP President Derrick Johnson during the insurrection Jan. 6. “We must not allow President Trump to continue to place our nation in peril. The NAACP calls for President Trump’s impeachment so that he will never again be able to harm our beloved country, and more importantly, its people.”

Newswire: Joe Biden chooses Kamala Harris as his Vice-Presidential running-mate

By: Lura Clawson, Daily Kos

Joe Biden with Kamala Harris

Ending months of speculation, Joe Biden named Sen. Kamala Harris as his vice presidential nominee.
Harris had been seen as a front-runner for the role since Biden became the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. Prior to being elected to the U.S. Senate from California in 2016, she served as the state’s attorney general and the district attorney of San Francisco. Harris has already made history as the second Black woman and the first South Asian person elected to the Senate.
In an email to supporters, Biden says “I’ve decided that Kamala Harris is the best person to help me take this fight to Donald Trump and Mike Pence and then to lead this nation starting in January 2021.”
If Biden and Harris win, Gov. Gavin Newsom will appoint her successor in the Senate, who will serve through 2022.

The reviews are pouring in and are roundly good for California Sen. Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s running mate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “Joe Biden’s naming of Sen. Kamala Harris as the Democratic nominee for Vice President marks an historic & proud milestone for our country. As the Vice President of the United States, Senator Harris will continue her legacy of trailblazing leadership to move our nation forward. […] Now we must ensure the historic election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as President and Vice President of the United States.”
Others who were under consideration for the position are just as laudatory. Stacey Abrams tweeted “Thrilled to support @KamalaHarris as next VP. I was honored to speak with @JoeBiden at length over the weekend and again today. His focus on reaching out to every corner of our country speaks to how he will lead us. I look forward to doing all I can for Team #BidenHarris!”
Rep. Karen Bass tweeted that Harris is “a great choice for Vice President. Her tenacious pursuit of justice and relentless advocacy for the people is what is needed right now.” Ambassador Susan Rice writes “Senator Harris is a tenacious and trailblazing leader who sill make a great partner on the campaign trail. […] I look forward to supporting the Biden-Harris ticket with all my energy and commitment.”
And Rep. Jim Clyburn on MSNBC: “I am ecstatic. We are breaking ground here. I think he has chosen well.” That’s as well said as can be.

Newswire: Trump vows complete end of Obamacare law despite pandemic

By Devlin Barrett, The Washington Post
President Trump said last Wednesday he will continue trying to toss out all of the Affordable Care Act, even as some in his administration, including Attorney General William P. Barr, have privately argued parts of the law should be preserved amid a pandemic.
“We want to terminate health care under Obamacare,” Trump told reporters Wednesday, the last day for his administration to change its position in a Supreme Court case challenging the law. “Obamacare, we run it really well. . . . But running it great, it’s still lousy health care.”
While the president has said he will preserve some of the Affordable Care Act’s most popular provisions, including guaranteed coverage for preexisting medical conditions, he has not offered a plan to do so, and his administration’s legal position seeks to end all parts of the law, including those provisions.
Democrats, who view the fight over the Affordable Care Act as a winning election issue for them, denounced the president’s decision.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement that “the President’s insistence on doubling down on his senseless and cruel argument in court to destroy the ACA and every last one of its benefits and protections is unconscionable, particularly in the middle of a pandemic.”
Trump’s declaration caps months of debate within his administration about the best course of action, in which the stakes have only become greater now that the nation’s health-care system is struggling to deal with the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 80,000 Americans.
On Monday, Barr attended a meeting of senior officials in which he argued the administration should temper its opposition to Obamacare, leaving some parts of the law intact, according to people familiar with the discussion, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the conversation was private.
The case before the court was brought by a group of Republican states, and as part of that case, the Trump administration is seeking to invalidate the entire Affordable Care Act, which passed in 2010 and became one of President Barack Obama’s most significant legislative victories.
Barr and others in the administration have argued that killing Obamacare completely could be politically damaging to Republicans in an election year, particularly when there is a national health crisis. In two previous case, the Supreme Court upheld the law, but if the high court were to strike it down, millions of people could find themselves without affordable health care.
The high court plans to hear arguments in the case later this year, and a decision may not come until 2021, well after the November election.
The latest ACA suit was organized by Republican attorneys general in Texas and other states. When the Trump administration declined to defend the law, a coalition of Democratic-led states entered.
The case began after the Republican-led Congress in 2017, unable to secure the votes to abolish the law, reduced to zero the penalty for a person not buying health insurance. Lawyers for the state of Texas argued that in doing so, Congress had removed the essential tax element that the Supreme Court had previously ruled made the program constitutional.
A district judge in Texas agreed and said the entire law must fall. Eventually the Trump administration agreed with that assessment.

Newswire : Black leaders call out big insurance over surprise medical billing

By Hazel Trice Edney

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, CEO -NNPA

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Prominent figures in the African-American community are calling on Congress to rein in large insurance companies as lawmakers look to address an increasingly urgent problem in the health care market that falls especially hard on working families, including African-Americans.
The problem is known as surprise medical billing, a situation that occurs when a patient is hospitalized and then receives a hefty bill from a doctor who turns out to be outside of his or her insurer’s network.
The practice is costing American patients tens of millions of dollars in unforeseen medical fees, at a time when many are already burdened by higher premiums and rising co-payments. Nearly half of Americans say they have avoided going to the doctor despite being sick or injured for financial reasons.
Eliminating surprise billing has long been a priority for leaders of both parties. But it is now emerging as a key issue in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, as candidates and other leading Democrats make the case around the country for broader health care reform. Former Vice President Joe Biden invoked the need to end surprise billing in his victory speech on Super Tuesday.
As the issue comes into greater focus, prominent African-American leaders are urging candidates and lawmakers to find a solution that holds health insurers accountable for limited coverage networks and inadequate access to health insurance for minority communities – two forces, they say, that have helped create the surprise billing problem.
Addressing a group of Black ministers in South Carolina recently, Reverend Al Sharpton said solving health care issues disproportionately impacting communities of color must be atop the progressive agenda. Fixing the problem of surprise billing, Sharpton said, needs to go hand in hand with better protection of uninsured and underinsured populations.
Sharpton, who heads the National Action Network, an influential civil rights organization with roots in Harlem and chapters throughout the country, warned about a proposed bill in Congress that would potentially deepen the problem of costs being passed onto patients by giving insurers even more control over the prices they pay out-of-network doctors working in emergency hospital settings.
He said the proposed bill must be defeated because it fails to protect the underinsured and the uninsured. Dealing these specific policies that affect the disadvantaged is what is necessary in the 2020 election, Sharpton said in a recent speech at the Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston, S.C., according to the Post and Courier.
Sharpton referred to a current bill before Congress aimed at addressing a practice known as “surprise billing,” which leaves patients on the hook for medical expenses even if they have insurance. The legislation needs to be defeated and replaced with something that would protect the underinsured and those with no insurance at all, he said,
describing it as one of those “issues that’s for the good of the people.”
Dr. Benjamin Chavis, President and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and former Executive Director of the NAACP, directed even sharper criticism at insurance companies. In a piece published by Black Press USA, Chavis  derided insurance executives for putting profits above patients.
“This outrageous situation benefits one group and one group alone: powerful insurance executives, who have managed to get off the financial hook for such bills, even as insurers shrink insurance coverage networks to wring more and more profits out of the system,” Chavis wrote.
Chavis expressed strong opposition to any legislation that would give insurers more control over health care prices.
Experts say surprise medical billing is most common after emergency treatment on nonsurgical hospital visits, when doctors and specialists often work together in teams to provide the care patients need. For example, in the case of an emergency procedure, a patient’s primary surgeon might be in her insurance network, but other clinicians who assist the surgeon, such as the anesthesiologist, might be out of network. In certain instances, the patients are left to foot the bill for out-of-network services.
Doctors have said that years of harmful cost-cutting measures taken by insurers are to blame. Many patients have been unwittingly pushed into highly restricted and increasingly narrow coverage networks, they say, leaving them with unanticipated costs insurers refuse to cover in full or at all. Doctors say insurance companies should be required to pay fair out-of-network rates, as determined by an independent arbitrator, for emergency care.
Insurers vehemently oppose that approach, instead calling for new rules that would enable them
to limit how much they pay for emergency care provided by physicians who do not contract with them. They favor a system in which they would automatically pay median in-network rates for out-of-network services.
The dispute between doctors and insurers reached a boiling point last year, when it appeared that insurers were going to get their way. A bill modeled on legislation passed in California in 2016 would have put in place the type of benchmarking system insurance companies want.
Doctors and hospitals, for their part, raised concerns about ceding too much power to insurers to control rates. If only required to pay median in-network rates for out-of-network emergency services, the doctors and hospitals said, insurers could artificially drive down those rates by further restricting coverage networks.
Apparently, those concerns were shared by at least some members of Congress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is reported to have expressed serious concerns in private, saying “we are not going to give a handout to big insurance companies.” The bill was ultimately defeated.
Now, as Congress returns to the issue early into the 2020 legislative session, it appears as though the debate could be layered into a larger conversation among progressives about the future of the nation’s health care system.
The insistence of influential Black leaders that surprise bills are a symptom of a coverage accessibility problem for communities of color seems to open up a new front for Democrats looking to curtail the power of major insurance companies.

Newswire: Democrats unveil articles of impeachment against Trump

By Lisa Mascaro and Mary Clarke Jalonick, Associated Press

From left House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters, D-Calif., Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal and Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Adam Schiff, D-Calif., unveil articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)


WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment Tuesday against President Donald Trump — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — pushing toward historic votes over charges he corrupted the U.S. election process and endangered national security.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, flanked by the chairmen of the impeachment inquiry committees, stood at the Capitol in what she called a “solemn act.” Voting is expected in a matter of days in the Judiciary Committee and by Christmas in the full House.
“He endangers our democracy, he endangers our national security,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the Judiciary chairman announcing the charges before a portrait of George Washington. “Our next election is at risk… That is why we must act now.”
The charges unveiled Tuesday stem from Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to announce investigations of his political rivals as he withheld aid to the country.
Trump tweeted ahead of the announcement that impeaching a president with a record like his would be “sheer Political Madness!”
The outcome, though, appears increasingly set as the House prepares for voting, as it has only three times in history against a U.S. president.
n drafting the articles of impeachment, Pelosi is facing a legal and political challenge of balancing the views of her majority while hitting the Constitution’s bar of “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Some liberal lawmakers wanted more expansive charges encompassing the findings from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Centrist Democrats preferred to keep the impeachment articles more focused on Trump’s actions toward Ukraine. House Democrats have announced two articles of impeachment charging President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Trump, meanwhile, insisted he did “NOTHING” wrong and that impeaching a president with a record like his would be “sheer Political Madness!”
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Judge John Roberts would preside over any impeachment trial, which would be held every day except Sunday until senators vote to convict or acquit President Trump of the articles.
McConnell said the Senate would hear the case House officials present before deciding whether to call witnesses, the Examiner reports.
“Or, it could decide that they’ve heard enough and they believe they know what would happen and move to vote on the two articles of impeachment,” the majority leader said.
Fifty-one Senate votes would be required to acquit Trump — and that would most likely happen, McConnell told reporters.
A two-thirds majority vote of the 100-member Senate is necessary for conviction and for removing Trump from office. Republicans hold a 53-47 majority.
“I said I would be totally surprised if there were 67 senators to remove the president,” McConnell said, “and that remains my view.”