Republicans slam House Dems for 'fast-tracking impeachment'

The U.S. House of Representatives moved on Wednesday (January 13) toward a vote on impeaching President Donald Trump for his role in last week's siege of the U.S. Capitol, when Trump supporters breached the building's security, sent lawmakers fleeing and left multiple dead in their wake, including a police officer.

At least five Republicans have said they would join Democrats in supporting impeachment, although just seven days remain for a Senate trial to expel Trump from office. If the Democratic-led House approves it, Trump would become the first president impeached twice.

But many Republicans, who spoke on the House floor on Wednesday, said the process was being rushed.

"The U.S. House of Representatives has every right to impeach the president of the United States. But what we’re doing today, rushing this impeachment in an hour- or two-hour-long debate on the floor of this chamber and bypassing (the) Judiciary (Committee) poses great questions about the constitutionality of this process," said Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) in her first speech on the House floor.

Video Transcript

- I was greatly encouraged to see our country unite in condemnation of last week's lawlessness in the rioting. I am further encouraged that, despite my Democratic colleagues claims to the contrary, President Trump is committed to a peaceful and uninterrupted transfer of power. But that's not good enough for my colleagues across the aisle. With just seven days left in President Trump's term, they are fast tracking impeachment proceedings, a move which will no doubt further divide an already fractured nation.

NANCY MACE: The US House of Representatives has every right to impeach the President of the United States. But what we're doing today, rushing this impeachment in an hour or two-hour long debate on the floor of this chamber, bypassing Judiciary poses great questions about the constitutionality of this process.

- Right now, our focus should be on healing, healing our nation. With so many upset and dismayed at the actions of last week, it's our responsibility to chart a path forward to subdue the growing animosity and find ways to heal our country. Unfortunately, I don't believe this resolution will achieve those goals, especially seven days ahead of the inauguration. This is a very serious and concerning effort during such a tense and fragile time in our country. I urge my colleagues to consider how this will further entrench people during such a tense time. I cannot support this recommendation. And I yield back.

- The gentleman will suspend. All members are reminded to wear face coverings while on the floor.

- Again, the articles before the House charge incitement to insurrection. They do not specify inciting language.

- They are rushing to judgment, in my opinion, and bringing up impeachment after failing to follow any meaningful process whatsoever. No hearings have been held. No witnesses heard. No process or opportunity to respond was provided to the president. No members had an opportunity to review or amend this article before it came to the floor. This is hardly the way the House should undertake such a serious act.