By NAN STAFF WRITER
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Nov. 1, 2019: Caribbean roots Democratic U.S. Congressmembers joined their 231 colleagues and independent Justin Amash, who previously left the Republican party, in voting “YEA” to Resolution 660 to direct certain committees in the House “to continue their ongoing investigations as part of the existing House of Representatives inquiry into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to exercise its Constitutional power to impeach Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America.”
Among those voting “Yea” Thursday were:
Caribbean American Congressmember Yvette Clarke of NY’s 9th Congressional District.
Cuban born Congressman Albio B. Sires of New Jersey’s 8th congressional district.
Dominican Republic-born Congressman Adriano D. Espaillat of New York’s 13th congressional district.
Puerto Rico-born Nydia Velázquez of New York’s 7th Congressional District.
Jamaican roots Congressmember Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas’ 18th congressional district.
Puerto Rico-roots Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“That’s a ‘yea’ vote from me,” Congresswoman Clarke tweeted after her vote. “Today we are one step closer to Donald Trump’s impeachment. #ImpeachmentVote” while Congressman Espaillat tweeted: I am proud to stand with @SpeakerPelosi and my @HouseDemocrats colleagues to #DefendOurDemocracy with today’s vote to establish rules and procedures for the next phase in the #ImpeachmentInquiry into President Trump’s misconduct.”
“This process will be driven by the facts, the truth and the rule of law. We will uphold the #Constitution – #ImpeachmentInquiry,’ tweeted Congresswoman Jackson Lee.
In a statement after her vote, Rep. Velasquez said: “The evidence against the President continues to mount almost daily. It is now clear that Donald Trump endangered our national security by delaying military aid to Ukraine in order to further his domestic political aims. … No one is above the law, not even the President. That is why the House must continue this process. The Resolution we passed today provides a path forward for transparent, public hearings that will expose the truth to the American people.”
While Congressman Sires added in a statement: “Today’s vote is an important step in establishing the procedure for open hearings in the House’s ongoing impeachment inquiry. After collecting testimony in a confidential and secure setting to ensure all witnesses are free from outside influence or attempts to align stories it is vital that the American people hear directly from witnesses. Regardless of party, this step should be something everyone can agree upon in our pursuit of truth and transparency.”
Thursday’s vote showed that Democrats have enough backing in the House to later bring formal charges, known as articles of impeachment, if they feel they have enough evidence. Democratic leaders in Congress, however, declined to say when public hearings would start, but they are expected to begin in the next few weeks.
The U.S. Constitution gives the House broad authority to set ground rules for an impeachment inquiry and Democrats say they are following House rules on investigations.
If the House eventually votes to impeach Trump, that would set up a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate. Trump would not be removed from office unless the Senate votes to convict him by a two-thirds margin, something that looks unlikely as congressional Republicans have been reluctant to move against the president.