A group of House Republicans is calling on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to have members cast their votes vocally instead of electronically on a resolution on impeachment procedures slated to come to the floor on Thursday.
In a letter sent to Pelosi on Wednesday — led by Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) and signed by 25 GOP lawmakers — the members said that while they disagree with Democrats’ position on impeachment, it will be “one of the most serious and profound votes any of us will ever cast.”
“As you know, there is no requirement for a roll call vote in the House to be conducted by electronic device and tabulation. As you also know, a vote conducted by electronic device shields Members from having to stand before their colleagues, their constituents, and the world to announce their decision on such a momentous matter in their own voice,” they wrote.
“Therefore, we request that for consideration of this measure, as well as any subsequent votes on the impeachment matter, you grant a request for a call of the roll instead of an electronic vote. Out of 330 million Americans, we are the 435 elected and trusted to make this decision on their behalf. They deserve to hear from our own voices rather than from a spreadsheet on the Clerk’s website,” they added.
House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) unveiled the resolution on Tuesday. It directs the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Intelligence Committee, and Foreign Affairs Committee to move forward with their probes and lays the groundwork for the Intelligence Committee to hold open hearings.
Democrats argue that bringing the measure to the floor will increase transparency in the impeachment process. But Republicans have slammed the resolution as too little too late, alleging it codifies the process that was already taking place.
“Even my colleagues who disagree with me on that should agree with what we are trying to accomplish with this letter: accountability and transparency for the American people on this incredibly serious matter and important vote,” Babin said in a statement.
“Instead of quietly casting our votes on the electronic system before leaving town for another recess week, we should all stand before our colleagues and the country to answer the question when our name is called one at a time – all 432 of us currently in office from Abraham (A) to Zeldin (Z),” he added.
While the Senate regularly takes roll call votes, the House — which has 435 members — traditionally reserves roll call votes for electing a new Speaker.