House GOP won't pressure members to vote against impeachment

Friday, January 8, 2021, Vol. 45, No. 2

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top House Republicans are telling rank-and-file lawmakers they won't be pressuring them to vote a particular way when the chamber considers impeaching President Donald Trump for a second time.

That word comes as GOP divisions emerge over Democrats' plan for a House vote Wednesday. It underscores that GOP leaders would likely have little clout anyway to force lawmakers' hands on what may be a career-defining vote as the party decides where it stands in the post-Trump era.

Most Republicans seem ready to vote against impeachment, but some, perhaps around 10, are expected to approve the move. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy opposes impeachment.

Two GOP leadership aides, speaking on condition of anonymity Tuesday to describe a private conference call, confirmed the decision to not "whip" the impeachment vote.

The article of impeachment accuses Trump of incitement of insurrection for goading a crowd of his supporters to surge to the Capitol last Wednesday as Congress was affirming Trump's election defeat by Democrat Joe Biden. Five people died as the mob sieged the building.

Democrats have a 222-211 House majority, and the chamber seems certain to vote to impeach. There are two vacancies.