NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, February 14th, 2021

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (February 8th-13th)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Unit­ed States Sen­a­tors vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 13th, 2021. (The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives was in recess.)

In the United States Senate

Chamber of the United States Senate

The Sen­ate cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

NOT CONVICTING DONALD TRUMP: Vot­ing 57 for and 43 against, the Sen­ate on Feb­ru­ary 13th failed reach the two-thirds thresh­old need­ed to con­vict for­mer Pres­i­dent Trump on a sin­gle arti­cle of impeach­ment charg­ing him with “incite­ment of insur­rec­tion” for his role in prompt­ing a dead­ly assault on the Capi­tol on Jan­u­ary 6th by a mob of his sup­port­ers. All mem­bers of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus, two inde­pen­dents, and sev­en Repub­li­cans vot­ed to con­vict Trump.

The Repub­li­cans were Lisa Murkows­ki of Alas­ka, Bill Cas­sidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Ben Sasse of Nebras­ka, Richard Burr of North Car­oli­na, Pat Toomey of Penn­syl­va­nia and Mitt Rom­ney of Utah.

Impeach­ment man­ag­er David Cicilline, D‑Rhode Island, said:

“While spread­ing lies about the elec­tion out­come in a brazen attempt to retain pow­er against the will of the Amer­i­can peo­ple, [Trump] incit­ed an armed, angry mob to riot — and not just any­where but here in the seat of our gov­ern­ment, in the Capitol…while we car­ried out a peace­ful trans­fer of pow­er, which was inter­rupt­ed for the first time in our his­to­ry. This was a dis­as­ter of his­toric pro­por­tion. It was also an unfor­giv­able betray­al of the oath of office.”

Trump coun­sel Michael van der Veen said: “Do not let House Democ­rats take this cru­sade any fur­ther. The Sen­ate does not have to go down this dark path of anonymi­ty and divi­sion. You do not have to indulge the impeach­ment lusts, the dis­hon­esty and the hypocrisy. It is time to bring this uncon­sti­tu­tion­al polit­i­cal the­ater to an end… With your vote you can defend the Con­sti­tu­tion. You can pro­tect due process and you can allow Amer­i­ca’s heal­ing to begin.”

A “guilty” vote was to con­vict Trump.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Not Guilty (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Guilty (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Guilty (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 4 guilty votes, 2 not guilty votes

AGREEING TO TRIAL RULES: Vot­ing 89 for and 11 against, the Sen­ate on Feb­ru­ary 9th approved rules (S Res 47) agreed to by both par­ties to gov­ern the sec­ond impeach­ment tri­al of for­mer Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump start­ing that day.

In part, the frame­work allowed four hours’ debate on a Repub­li­can chal­lenge (below) to the con­sti­tu­tion­al­i­ty of the tri­al. A yes vote was to estab­lish tri­al rules.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 6 aye votes

REJECTING CONSTITUTIONAL OBJECTION TO IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Vot­ing 56 for and 44 against, the Sen­ate on Feb­ru­ary 9th agreed to a motion that the sec­ond impeach­ment tri­al of for­mer Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is constitutional.

This dis­pensed with a Repub­li­can argu­ment that Trump, who was impeached by the House while still in office, could not be tried by the Sen­ate because he was a pri­vate cit­i­zen. Democ­rats said that under that log­ic, pres­i­dents could com­mit high crimes and mis­de­meanors in their last days in office and escape accountability.

They not­ed that the pres­i­den­tial oath of office, which is writ­ten into the Con­sti­tu­tion, for­bids the com­mis­sion of impeach­able offens­es on all days of a pres­i­den­tial term. The oath requires pres­i­dents to “pre­serve, pro­tect and defend the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Unit­ed States.”

Democ­rats also cit­ed a let­ter debunk­ing the Repub­li­can argu­ment signed by more than one hun­dred and fifty con­sti­tu­tion­al schol­ars and judges of all ideologies.

Jamie Raskin, D‑Maryland, said: “Pres­i­dent Trump may not know a lot about the Framers, but they cer­tain­ly knew a lot about him. Giv­en the Framers’ intense focus on dan­ger to elec­tions and the peace­ful trans­fer of pow­er, it is incon­ceiv­able that they designed impeach­ment to be a dead let­ter in the pres­i­den­t’s final days in office when oppor­tu­ni­ties to inter­fere with the peace­ful trans­fer of pow­er would be most tempt­ing and most dangerous.…”

Trump coun­sel David Schoen said: “Pres­i­dents are impeach­able because pres­i­dents are remov­able. For­mer pres­i­dents are not because they can­not be removed. The Con­sti­tu­tion is clear: tri­al by the Sen­ate sit­ting as a Court of Impeach­ment is reserved for the pres­i­dent… not a pri­vate cit­i­zen who used to be pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States. Just as clear, the judg­ment required upon con­vic­tion is removal from office, and a for­mer pres­i­dent can no longer be removed from office.”

A yes vote was to estab­lish the tri­al as constitutional.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 4 aye votes, 2 nay votes

ALLOWING WITNESS TESTIMONY: The Sen­ate on Feb­ru­ary 13th vot­ed, 55 for and 45 against, to allow wit­ness tes­ti­mo­ny in the Don­ald Trump impeach­ment tri­al. This fol­lowed dis­clo­sures about a tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion Don­ald Trump had with Kevin McCarthy, R‑California, the House minor­i­ty leader, as the Capi­tol attack raged. Trump report­ed­ly belit­tled McCarthy’s request that he call off the riot­ers, accord­ing to notes tak­en by the Pacif­ic North­west­’s own Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler, R‑Washington, when she dis­cussed the call with McCarthy.

House man­agers orig­i­nal­ly said they want­ed to depose Her­rera Beut­ler to shed light on Trump’s frame of mind dur­ing the riot, but then asked only that her account be admit­ted as writ­ten evi­dence, which then occurred.

Jamie Raskin, D‑Maryland., called the con­gress­wom­an’s infor­ma­tion “an addi­tion­al crit­i­cal piece of cor­rob­o­rat­ing evi­dence” of the pres­i­den­t’s “will­ful dere­lic­tion of duty as com­man­der in chief of the Unit­ed States” dur­ing the Jan­u­ary 6th attack.

Trump coun­sel Michael van der Veen said: “If you vote for wit­ness­es, do not hand­cuff me by lim­it­ing the num­ber of wit­ness­es I can have. I need to do a thor­ough inves­ti­ga­tion that [Democ­rats] did not do. Please…do not lim­it my abil­i­ty… to dis­cov­er the truth.”

A yes vote was to open the tri­al to witnesses.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 4 aye votes, 2 nay votes

CONFIRMING MCDONOUGH AS VETERANS AFFAIRS SECRETARY: Vot­ing 87 for and sev­en against, the Sen­ate on Feb­ru­ary 8th con­firmed Denis R. McDo­nough, fifty-one, as sec­re­tary of the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Affairs, mak­ing him the sec­ond non-vet­er­an to fill the post. He had been for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma’s chief of staff and deputy nation­al secu­ri­ty advisor.

Chris Van Hollen, D‑Maryland, said McDo­nough has “promised to defend the VA health­care sys­tem against efforts at pri­va­ti­za­tion [and to] cre­ate a cul­ture of zero tol­er­ance toward sex­u­al harass­ment and assault in the depart­ment,” while pledg­ing “to make end­ing vet­er­an home­less­ness a nation­al priority.”

No sen­a­tor spoke against McDonough.

A yes vote was to con­firm the nominee.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 6 aye votes

Key votes ahead

The Sen­ate will be in recess in the week of Feb­ru­ary 15th, while the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives’ leg­isla­tive sched­ule was to be announced.

Edi­tor’s Note: The infor­ma­tion in NPI’s week­ly How Cas­ca­di­a’s U.S. law­mak­ers vot­ed fea­ture is pro­vid­ed by Votera­ma in Con­gress, a ser­vice of Thomas Vot­ing Reports. All rights are reserved. Repro­duc­tion of this post is not per­mit­ted, not even with attri­bu­tion. Use the per­ma­nent link to this post to share it… thanks!

© 2021 Thomas Vot­ing Reports. 

Adjacent posts

  • Enjoyed what you just read? Make a donation


    Thank you for read­ing The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate, the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute’s jour­nal of world, nation­al, and local politics.

    Found­ed in March of 2004, The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate has been help­ing peo­ple through­out the Pacif­ic North­west and beyond make sense of cur­rent events with rig­or­ous analy­sis and thought-pro­vok­ing com­men­tary for more than fif­teen years. The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate is fund­ed by read­ers like you and trust­ed spon­sors. We don’t run ads or pub­lish con­tent in exchange for money.

    Help us keep The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate edi­to­ri­al­ly inde­pen­dent and freely avail­able to all by becom­ing a mem­ber of the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute today. Or make a dona­tion to sus­tain our essen­tial research and advo­ca­cy journalism.

    Your con­tri­bu­tion will allow us to con­tin­ue bring­ing you fea­tures like Last Week In Con­gress, live cov­er­age of events like Net­roots Nation or the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion, and reviews of books and doc­u­men­tary films.

    Become an NPI mem­ber Make a one-time donation

Submit a Comment

By submitting a comment, you agree to abide by our Commenting Guidelines. If you submit any links to other websites in your comment or in the Website field, these will be published at our discretion. Please read our statement of Privacy Practices before commenting to understand how we collect and use submissions to the Cascadia Advocate. Your comment must be submitted with a name and email address as noted below. We will not publish or share your email address. *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>