NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Two members of Congress from the New Orleans area took opposite positions on the U.S. House vote on impeachment rules related to the inquiry of President Donald Trump’s request that a foreign leader probe Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, defended passage of the resolution. It was a near party-line vote of 232-196.
“Today’s vote on House Resolution 660 formalizing the impeachment inquiry was a necessary moment in history,” said Richmond. “Democrats have remained fair and professional, and all members of Congress have an obligation to reveal the truth to the American people. The rules established provides a clear path forward for the impeachment inquiry.”
But Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Metairie, who serves as GOP House Minority Whip gave a rousing speech against the impeachment-related resolution.
"When you look through this resolution and you see how one-sided, how Soviet-style this is running, this is the United States of America. Don't run a sham process, a tainted process like this resolution ensures,” said Scalise.
Scalise, like Trump, accuses Democrats who control the House of abusing their power.
"This is Soviet-style rules, maybe in the Soviet Union you do things like this where only you make the rules,” Scalise said.
Dillard University political analyst Robert Collins, PhD., said it was important to have House members go on the record on where they stand regarding the impeachment inquiry.
"It is meaningful because the resolution today establishes the ground rules that are going to govern the process as we move forward,” Collins added.
Collins is familiar with the impeachment process after having worked on Capitol Hill for two former U.S. senators from Louisiana.
Collins said an actual vote on impeaching Trump could be months away.
“This is going to be a long, drawn-out process. There are going to be many witnesses…The Republicans will also have the opportunity to bring witnesses,” he said.
Trump won Louisiana during the last presidential contest and recent polls show a majority of the people in the state oppose impeaching Trump. A poll conducted this week by Edgewater Research found the same views.
According to the October 28 statewide survey, 55 percent of Louisiana respondents oppose impeachment while 41 percent support efforts to impeach Trump.
For months, national Democrats held back on launching an impeachment probe due to voters’ sentiments on the issue.
"I think a lot of people are figuring, well, we have an election in about a year, this could be decided in the election, do we really want to go through the divisive impeachment process?” said Collins.
If the House ultimately ends up voting to impeach Trump, a trial would be held in the Senate.
Collins doubts the Republicans who control the Senate would vote to convict Trump and remove him from office.
“So, there’s really no way to remove the president from office unless you receive a large number of votes from the Republican Party which at the present time is highly unlikely,” Collins stated.