Every Democrat in Florida’s U.S. House delegation voted Wednesday to table a motion on impeaching President Trump, but the pressure from the party’s grassroots activists isn’t going away.
This week, the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee voted unanimously to support an impeachment inquiry, saying obstruction of justice allegations were clearly documented in U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Democratic Executive Committees in Orange, Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and Taylor counties have also voted to support impeachment.
“The many bad acts of this president demand action be taken,” Ione Townsend, Chairwoman of the Hillsborough Democratic Party in Tampa Bay says. “Failure to launch an impeachment inquiry would be an abdication of Congress’ constitutional executive authority.”
The statewide Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida passed a proclamation calling for an impeachment inquiry.
“I was surprised that a tremendous amount of support for an impeachment inquiry exists among rank and file Democrats, even in red counties,” said Claire Snyder-Hall, who chairs the communications committee for the Progressive Caucus. “In most cases, the …proclamation passed by big margins, if not unanimously.”
While the calls for impeachment have been strong in some of the most progressive parts of the state, that support hasn’t extended to the majority of the 13 House Democrats representing Florida in Washington.
Only two lawmakers – U.S. Rep. Val Demings from Orlando and U.S. Rep. Debbie Murcasel-Powell from South Florida – have come out in support of impeachment to date. Nationally, 87 Democrats and one independent member of Congress have made public comments advocating for at least starting the impeachment inquiry process, according to CNN.
“The President has engaged in behavior that we have not seen – nor would we have allowed – from the other 44 men who have occupied that office,” Murcasel-Powell said last month. “This is why I support opening an impeachment inquiry into the President.”
The number of House Democrats who support an impeachment inquiry could rise next week, after Mueller addresses two House committees.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been consistent in opposing impeaching the president, saying that the issue divides the country and “he’s just not worth it.”
Public opinion polls also show that a majority of Americans don’t support impeachment. Some opponents of impeachment proceedings against Trump also say the exercise would be futile, since even if the Democratic-controlled House voted to impeach the president, it would take 67 U.S. Senators to remove him, an extremely unlikely proposition with the GOP in control of that chamber.
The resolution pushed by the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida cites alleged obstruction of justice, abuse of power and violations of the emoluments clause to justify the call for the start of an impeachment inquiry.
“We hope more groups will lend their support to call for accountability,” said Snyder-Hall. “As grassroots’ voices grow stronger, Speaker Pelosi and our leaders in Congress must act.”