House Lawmakers Set Rules For Impeachment Vote | NBC News (Live Stream Recording)

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Published: 12/18/2019 02:19 AM

The House Rules Committee meets to set the length and terms of debate on the House floor over two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection ...

[ music, ], okay, the rules committee will come to order. Rules. Committee will come to order at this time. The chair will entertain a motion from the distinguished gentlewoman from pennsylvania, miss scanlon. Thank you. Mr. chairman, i move the committee grand house resolution 755 impeaching donald john trump, president of the united states, for high crimes and misdemeanors a closed rule. The rul ...
provides that immediately upon adoption of this resolution without intervention of any point of order, the house shall proceed to the consideration of house resolution 755. The rule provides six hours of debate on the resolution equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority. Member of the committee on the judiciary, or their respective designatesthe rule provides that the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by congress on the i'm sorry recommended by the committee on the judiciary now printed in the resolution, shall be considered as adopted. The rule provides that the question of adoption of the resolution, as amended, shall be divided between the two articles. The rule provides that during consideration of house resolution 755, only the person shall be admitted to the hall of the house or rooms leading thereto.

Only the following persons, a members of congress, be the delegates and the resident commissioner, see the president and vice president of the united states d. Other persons, as designated by the speaker, section 3, provides after adoptionof house resolution 755 for consideration of a resolution appointing and authorizing managers for the impeachment trial of donald john trump. President of the united states, if offered by the chair of the committee on the judiciary or his designee, the rule provides ten minutes of debate on the resolution specified in section three equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on the Judiciary, the rule, waives all points of order against consideration of the resolution specified in section 3. The rule provides that no other resolution incidental to impeachment relating to house resolution 755 shall be privileged during the remainder of the hundred and sixteenth congress. Finally, the rule provides that thechair of the committee on the judiciary may insert in the congressional record such material as he may deem explanatory of house resolution 755 and the resolution specified in section three not later than the date. That is five legislative days after adoption of each respective resolution. You heard the motion from the gentleman from pennsylvania. Is there any amendment or discussion? Mr. chairman cole, thank you very much. Mr. chairman, i have an amendment to the rule. I move.

The committee provide 12 hours of general debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking member of the committee on the judiciary, the chairman, because the democratic majorities hastie time frame to impeach the president. It'S imperative thatthe house have ample time to debate hr 755. We should strive to come as close as possible to the allotted time for debate in the clinton impeachment members should have sufficient time to explain to the american people on the house floor. Their position on these impeachment amendments providing 12 hours of general debate will only allow each member of this congress of mere 1 minute and 40 seconds to debate hr 755. I know there's a lot of demand on both sides that members have an opportunity to state their positions publicly, so we would asked for the 12 hour. I thank the gentleman i mean we've provided six hours of debate, plus an hour of debate. Onthe rule. That'S seven hours total seems like a reasonable amount of time we're dealing with fewer articles of impeachment with president trump than we were with president clinton, and i think it's a fair amount of time and i respect the gentleman. But i would urge a no vote on his amendment, any other people requesting time mr. burgess yeah. I would just speak in favor of mr. cole's amendment.

Not every member of congress has the privilege that we do of serving on the committee on rules we've had enjoyed. Unlimited time you've been very kind with the time today, so we've all had ample time to talk. I think every member of congress needs to be ableto take time to explain to their constituents into the country. This is not a. This is not a trivial matter that we're taking up. This is a matter of great importance for the for the future of our country, and we've all talked about our allegiance to the constitution. We should provide members an opportunity to explain themselves and i would just say there was think mr. cole's amendment is as well, reasoned and well consider before i. I would urge us to take this up and mr. polis provides you an opportunity, and i think you should take it. You know i appreciate it, but i think the seven hours of debate will extend probably to more like12 hours when it's all said and done, and so i just note for the record. Mr.

chairman, it's not often we get a text and supporting any amendment i make as well reasoned or hoping. So i just want to thank my friends, the voters on the cold amendment, all those in favor say aye aye opposed. No, no be that you, the noes, have it we will call the roll mr. hasting. No mr. hastings, no mrs. torres, no mrs. torres! No mr. perlmutter mr. perlmutter, no mr. raskin, no, no, miss scanlon, no hanlin! No mr. morelli yeah, mr.

morelli! No miss layla! No layla, no mr. desaulnier mr. justone yay, no mr. kaul hi mr. kaulhi mr. woodall, ah mr. woodall aye mr. burgess mr. burgess aye, mrs. lesko, mrs. lesko aye mr. chairman, no mr.

chairman, no clerk before the total for ea's nine. Nine members not agreed to further amendments mr. woodall yeah. I have an amendment to the rule to am in section one that waives all points of order in the resin in the against provisions of the resolution, except for those in violation of clause 2 g 6 b of house rule 11 as currently constructed the the rule. Waives all points of order - clause 2, g, 6 b of house rule 11 - is that one that we spent so much time talking about today, which is a minority rightfor, a hearing on december 4th? Mr. chairman, as you know, minority members of the house judiciary committee did exercise their rights under that section and asked for a day of hearings, but as of today, that hearing has not been scheduled. You responded to mr. cole's concerns and all of our concerns on that issue and, as i read during our hearing today, concluded that, because mr. nadler has appropriately said he will work with the minority to schedule that hearing after our vote in impeachment that you believe that Section had been satisfied. You stated that you that the intent of this rule was to provide folks with a voice. I don't think any member on this committeewould suggest that allowing hearings after bills have been passed would allow for that voice. It could well be that the house parliamentarian and the the speaker tomorrow well will agree with you that, having consulted with with chairman adler and agreed to hold hearings after the fact that that does satisfy this section house rules, i think that would be in this section.

Meaningless, if that's true, but by allowing and exposing this point of order tomorrow, we will at least make clear to the american people. Only one of two things is true: either the house of representatives has a process, and on the day we accuse president trump of breaking the rules. We choose to follow ourown or we will choose to waive those rules and leave the impression that so many of my colleagues have talked about today that the rules don't apply to everyone and do not exist to serve everyone that i know that is not the chairman's Intention again, as his letter makes so very very clear, i would just ask my colleagues, because this has been a source of great debate and disagreement, that we expose this point of order and if it turns out as the as the chairman believes it will that this Requirement has been satisfied, then no harm no foul, but if it turns now that this requirement has not been satisfied, we would do the americanpeople a great service by satisfying it and then moving and then moving forward. I thank my chairman. Any other discussion on the word elemental they, if i could just add one sure, god that too, to read that section makes it clear that there is no ambiguity in this request. If the minority asks, the request must be granted, it is not up to the discretion of the of the chair that that absence of discretion was intentional, as we crafted this section on on minority rights, and i just put that out there for my colleagues, because again One day we will all be in different places and the president we said today will what matter i thinkmy know and we've been in your seat as well for and but there's no way, there's no. Where and that rule does this say when the chairman must schedule that hearing and the bottom line we've had this discussion before and i don't i don't think this is subject to a point of order and, as we all know, it is standard for any measure brought To the floor, under a rule to be provided with protections against points of order, last congress alone, 86 blanket waivers were provided by republican majority. We have not been advised at any points of order, lie against the resolution, so the waiver is simply out of an abundance of caution in keepingwith modern rules practices. Even though no points of order lie against the resolution. Dilatory points of order order could be brought up. That would have to be argued against and ruled on needlessly delaying the floor again. That'S why a prophylactic waivers are included in every single rule that we report out or here under republicans and democrats.

So i just disagree with you on on how you interpret the minority day rule. I responded to you as to my opinions, but but look we need to need to make sure this resolution moves forward with that the gentlelady from arizona. Thank you, mr. chair. I would to speak in favor of mr. woodall's amendment. I you know ithink, the american public would think it's really ridiculous to grant a minority hearing date after we vote on the articles of impeachment. I mean any person with any common sense knows that that is really, in my opinion, outrageous, and so i you know, if you go forward with this, as i assume you are, you know i think we're gon na make hay out of it for sure you could You could make head or whatever you want. I would, as i said before, the whole point of this of this resolution was to ensure that the minority had a right to a witness during committee procedures that has been granted in the judiciary committee, and this is toprotect against chairman who or chair women who basically Allow no minority witnesses, so i am perfectly comfortable with my response. But i will also say that we received a letter from 70 members of the party, including two members of the rules committee, saying that they're going to use every dilatory tactic within their means to try to delay and derail this process. You know i do not want this to turn into a circus. I want this is a serious matter and it will be considered in an orderly in a respectful way, and i think that's so.

We would just disagree on this yeah. Mr. woodall. Thank you, mr. chairman. If i could just be heard onon one further point i i may have not explained my motion articulately. I agree with with you the nature of the rules committee, our standard practice of waiving all points of order, the the requirement that the majority be able to conduct its business without dilatory tactics. My motion is that we could keep that section. That waives all points of order, with the one exception of this minority witness if i may read from the from the house practice manual whenever hearing is called by a committee on a measure or matter minority members on the committee, may have a right to call witnesses Of their own choosing, that has not happened here that has not happened herethat, as has been said so often today. Those facts are undisputed. Undisputed, be happy of my friend like like five witnesses that have testified to in the judiciary committee and three called by the republican minority. That'S at least five witnesses and the president was invited to present a case which he refused to do.

I appreciate my friend raising that what you heard from the ranking member today is: he was given choices by them by the chairman. Take it or leave it, you can invite a law professor of your own choosing, but you cannot invite a witness of your own choosing. You cannot bring the fact witnesses any fact witness to this to this hearing that'swhat. That'S what this section and end to the chairman's point. So if the gentleman would yield again, so the gentleman is making a distinction between the the examinations and depositions that were taken in the intelligence committee versus what was done in the judiciary committee is that is that how the gentleman is is proceeding yeah. No, i would say the gentleman i'm only taking the the rule on its on its face. Minority members on the committee have the right to call witnesses of their own choosing. That right was not offered or granted, and it goes on to say the chair may set the day under a reasonable schedule. It could well be that that that thechairman is absolutely right and when we decided that that the schedule must be reasonable, we decided that scheduling the hearing after the bill has already been passed and sent to the senate was reasonable, but i don't believe that we believe That i believe every one of us knows that is not what we intended. There are bills on which moving and playing fast and loose may be appropriate. Impeaching. The president of the united states, not by any definition be one of those resolutions cannot be cannot be.

The rule is clear. The rules committee has the right to waive the rule to suggest that the rule has been satisfied. As the chairman's letter does, i think createsa very dangerous precedent that future chairmen are going to be much more liberal with and and much less enthusiastic about protecting minority rights than the chairman would be. The chair may set the day under a reasonable schedule, is the day after we've passed the bill reasonable and that's best way, stereo as we sit here today, the chairman has been very indulgent. I know, and i would i would just simply say i think you are misinterpreting what the rule actually states and we do not agree and what we're doing here is standard operating procedure and we are going to follow that to be fair. Mr. chairman, i'm not trying to mistake the rule, i'm reading itout of the harity practice and i'm and and we i answered you in a lengthy letter, how it based on precedent and based on how its interpreted. I mean that the idea that somehow you know that i mean that that you know if it worked the way the minority would have us believe as if it were some superpower allowing the minority call any witness at any time. You know to schedule a hearing whenever they want to to delay legislation. I promise you there would have been a whole lot more hearings, last congress called by democrats, and so we just disagree of course, and so i you know it i and we can continue this ifyou'd like, but i don't i don't agree. I don't agree with your assumption and - and i know that in this committee, as the chairman, when you don't agree with me, that means i'm going to lose. I understand you can ask for a vote, but this is not, but but mr.

chairman, this isn't a rule of this committee. This is a rule of the united states, absolutely and as far as i'm terry, to inform you that there's a point of order. If, if the circumstances are, is you believe that that's you when i raise that point of order on the floor of the house? Remember it's district committee does right, it will be, it will bedenied right, but i'm not exposing this bill to any points of order, and i would urge my colleagues to vote no on the woodall amendment. All those in favor the world amendment say aye opposed. No no be the chair, the noes have it mark will call the roll mr. hastings i'm not reluctant to vote no, mr. hastings. No. This is where i was mrs. torres. No mr. perlmutter, no mr.

perlmutter, no mr. raskin door. Mr. raskin, no i'm miss scanlon, miss scanlon, no mr. morelli, yeah, mr. reilly, no misha, laila laila, no mr. justone yay mr. stone yay, no mr. cool mr. cool aye, mr. woodall. Ah mr.

wardle aye mr. burgess mr. burgess ayemrs. lesko. This is: let's go aye. Mr. chairman, no mr. chairman, no court reporter total four yeas 980 rama does not agree to any further amendments before we vote on the final motion, i'd like to yield to the gentleman from oklahoma for any concluding remarks, you'd like to make. Thank you, mr. chairman. I want to greet my friend mr. sonnier.

This is a sad day. I don't think anybody. This panel democrat, a republican, came here with the expectation that the voting on impeachment for the president - and i think they all regret that i think we all regret that. But i want to tell you first, mr. chairman, i'm very proud of this committee. I'M veryproud that the discussion have been civil and professional. I think the points have been fair by all sides and i think that's to the credit of this committee. Mr. chairman, i'm very proud of you. I think you've presided over this process, which is a difficult one, is one where we clearly disagree. There was not much opportunity for agreement to arrive, but you've, given everybody an opportunity to have their say. You'Ve allowed every question to be asked.

Every point made you've made your decisions, that's your prerogative visit the chairman and we respect that perogative, but i think you've done so in a very fair and open and transparent manner. Personally, very, very grateful. I do thinkas a congress we're on an awfully dangerous and awfully divisive course, and i've thought about this quite a bit. I know all of us have and i've been around this business for a long time and i've watched the last impeachment process. It was not a member of congress, but i was pretty closely associated with congress at the time, and i thought probably where we went wrong in that process - is that i don't think most other republican members in the 90s ever really regarded president clinton, as a legitimately Elected president, i would caution my friends, i think you're, making precisely the same mistake now. There'S no question: we can quibble about votes, but many many membersof congress them on your side of been trying to impeach the president from the very first day. No question about that. There were testimony about that and compete and we're going to impeach a president in this case. If we go ahead - and we have the vote tomorrow for something that didn't happen, dispute has been about aid to the ukraine that aid was given and it was withheld at the most 455 days and was delivered within the time legally specified. That is before the end of the fiscal year. There were no investigations undertaken by the ukraine in in exchange for that aid or in exchange for time at the white house or visit with the presidentand. Both the principals involved in the critical conversation president trump and president zolensky all said everything was fine.

No pressure was intended. None was felt. This process that were engaged in mr. chairman is going to fail. I mean we'll have a vote tomorrow may well. Succeed occupy the majority here. I respect that but we're here, because i think the speaker did not follow the very conditions she laid down at the beginning. She said we will not go down the road of impeachment unless it's bipartisan. This is not bipartisan. We will not go down this road unless there's a consensus in the country. There is no consensus in the country and we are precisely your alittle bit less than and now 11 months from an election where the american people can and will make this decision. But i want to conclude mr.

chairman a little bit more optimistic note. A lot of people would say that means congress is broken and we focused - and i think the public will focus mostly on this this measure today, but we ought to reflect a little bit about what's happened this week. What'S happened, this committee that we saw last night, we had a major bipartisan agreement on funding the government for the balance of the year. It was a give-and-take process by the way the president was pretty integral in that process as well. So he's participatedwe can't pass much if he's not willing to sign and he's not willing to negotiate. He certainly did we're. Gon na have major tax changes. Three major items that fund the aca were eliminated today. I'M very very pleased with that. President was involved in that we're gon na have a tax extenders package that we all stayed here a little bit late last night later than any of us wanted. But that's because the principles on all sides were actually negotiating. So that tells me that things are going in a workable fashion and we're gon na have a u.

s. mmca vote on thursday. That again, this committee was involved in and, i think will be bipartisan, so well, i'm verydisappointed about what's happening. I don't think it's good for the country. I think my friend mr. collins made some very, very good points about lowering the bar for impeachment and setting us up to engage in this again. I am pleased to say that in a number of areas, we've been awfully functional and i think in a very bipartisan manner - and this chairman, that's in part, because the manner in which you've operated this process a very divisive process but one again, which i think you've Been open and fair and transparent, we haven't agreed with all your decisions. They get an opportunity tonight to except to vent the commitments, but the reality is you allowed those amendmentsto be offered you treated them with respect and fairly, and so for then i extend my sincere appreciation and we look forward to seeing you on the floor tomorrow and Appreciate the manner in which you discharge your duties here in this committee. Well, thank you and i want to thank the gentleman from oklahoma for his kind words, and i want to thank all the members, his committee democrats, republicans and all the staff that have put in long hours during this week. But it was sad here all day and conducting themselves in a very serious and thoughtful manner. I had a number of people say to me that they were surprised that, despite the difficult topicbefore us that what they will observe play out on tv was relatively civil, and - and so i'm proud of this committee too, and we have strong disagreements over the matter at Hand, i think the president behaved in a way that is reprehensible quite frankly and yeah he did viii did go to ukraine, but only after he got caught withholding it. You know, while this committee was meeting this afternoon, the president i'd say: states sent to speak or the house a letter on this impeachment process and miss lesko earlier unit.

Ask unanimous consent to to put it in the record. I'M not sure how many of you read it, but it's six pages long and itessentially amounts to one long, twitter rant. He calls impeachment and illegal coup and he claims quote more due process was afforded to those accused in the salem witch trials. End quote, i mean: are you kidding me? Innocent people were tortured and hung. Their corpses were thrown in shallow graves. An 80 year old farmer named giles corey, was literally placed between boards and crushed to death. I mean for the president to say that he is being treated worse than the salem witch trials is unhinged, just like so many of the missives on impeachment. Now i know a little bit about the salem witch trials because i'm from massachusetts and here's a little more three of massachusettsit was our forbearers who were killed in the boston boston massacre and who fired the shot heard around the world at lexington and concord. It was our commonwealth that stood up to a tyrannical king and insisted that rights come from the consent of the governed and not the whims of a monarch. In his letter, the president even writes - and i quote - i have no doubt that the american people will hold you and the democrats fully responsible, the 2020 election and quote the president just doesn't get it. This is not about his reelection, it's not about anyone's political future. Our founders handed us a fragile thing more than 200 years ago, an experiment and self-government, afledgling democracy, unlike anything else on earth at the time a republic of by and for the people.

So this is about whether we, the people sent to congress, are willing to stand up and protect that fragile idea that has been entrusted to all of us. You know we shape this democracy day by day vote by vote. Some votes are more arcane than others, but each and every one helps to decide the kind of country we're going to be no voting on impeachment is particularly important. It will define our democracy from here on out. You know, i'm not. A single republican today even hinted that what the president did was wrong. It was wrong it waswrong and for me i will leave here today with a clear conscience. You know i i don't know if president trump is watching right now, but if he were, i would say to him. Mr. president, this is not above you. This is about all of us. What kind of behavior we're willing to tolerate from whoever sits in the oval office and whether we live up to the ideal of a government of by and for the people now a republic if, if he can keep it? I begin this hearing by quoting those famous words for benjamin franklin.

You know no one wanted to be here today, but i am proud that when history called upon uswe fought to keep the vision of our founders alive in our time we fought to keep this republic intact. So you know this has been a long day and tomorrow promises to be a long day. You know, even though we had disagreements in this committee. As i said before, i'm proud of each and every member of this committee i mean we, i think, showed that you can actually have difficult discussions and be civil and be serious and - and i think you know no matter where we fall on this issue. I think that's something we all should be proud of, so i thank everybody and - and now i ask that we we we the question isnow on the motion offered by the gentlewoman from pennsylvania, miss scanlon, all those in favor will say: aye aye, all those opposed. No in the opinion of the chair, the eyes have in the motion is agreed to the yeas and nays have been requested. The clerk will call the roll mr. hastings aye mrs. torres, mrs. torres aye mr. perlmutter mr. perlmutter aye mr.

raskin five mr. raskin. I miss scanlon, i miss scanlon, i mr. morelli, i, mr. morelli, i miss layla. I laila i, mr desaulnier. I miss tanya, i mr. cole, no mr. cole, no mr. woodall, mr. wardle, no mr. burgess, mr.

burgess, no mrs. , let's go! This is: let's go. No! Mr. chairmanah, mr. chairman, i the clerk report, the total nine years for nays the ice having the motion is agreed to. Accordingly, i will manage this rule for the majority. Again, i thank everybody and without absolutely absolutely before grape juice good to understood something about democracy. In federalism right, thank you. Thank you without objection, the committee is adjourned. Oh you,.

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