Spanish— The Republican congressmen who voted in favor of impeachment against Donald Trump are beginning to suffer the loss of support from their caucus and donors. The consequences were foreseeable once they decided to surrender their vote in favor of the cause promoted by the Democrats after the assault on the Capitol.
Ten Republican officials said “yes” when asked if they were in favor of initiating the impeachment on January 13. Although only five Republican votes were expected, the number doubled during the vote.
Now they are beginning to find closed doors. For example, the political action committee Courageous Conservatives announced that they will focus their efforts on promoting and financing candidates to challenge Congressmen Liz Cheney, Anthony Gonzalez, and Tom Rice in primaries, reported Infobae. All three congressmen voted “yes.”
The political price also includes the Senate, the next instance of the trial. For the Senate to impeach Trump, 67 total votes are needed, meaning 17 Republicans must vote in favor. It is unlikely that so many senators from his party will vote against the former president. A preliminary vote showed that. At that time, only five Republican senators were in favor of proceeding with the trial. The result was 55 in favor of continuing against 45 votes against the trial.
Censured and rejected
▪ Liz Cheney: was rejected by several of her colleagues in Wyoming (the state she presents). Three conservative parties in the county voted to censure her. And many people have already filed to run against her in the 2022 state primary, indicated to CNN Nick Reynolds, a journalist specializing in politics.
The third-ranking Republican congresswoman still receives support from powerful groups, such as the Wyoming Petroleum Association. Cheney – daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney – acknowledges that the vote may have pushed her back. The state is almost entirely in Trump’s favor. He got more than 70 percent of the vote in the presidential election.
▪ Anthony Gonzalez: received rejections in Ohio. The son of Cuban immigrants acknowledged in an interview the discomfort he aroused with his vote. “They’re furious with me … and I know you are too,” he told the interviewer. He’s on track to lose his voters and donors, declared Justin Buchler, associate professor of political science at Case Western Reserve University. “I’ve never seen such an act of disloyalty,” declared former Representative Christina Hagan.
▪ Jamie Herrera Beutler: sparked disappointment in the GOP base, said Joel Mattila, chairman of the Clark County Republican Party in Washington.
The County Republican Women’s group announced that she would never again receive the group’s support or votes, according to Chinook Observer. Suzie Burke, a Seattle executive who donated to Republican campaigns for the past four years, asserted that she would not give money for the representative again, Infobae added.
▪ John Katko: he had to deal with the disappointment of conservative leaders. “It was a very bad choice,” assured Fred Beardsley, chairman of the Republican Committee of Oswego County, New York. He has been elected four consecutive times to Congress from his district, mainly because of the Conservative Party. He received 21062 votes on the conservative line in the 2020 election. An endorsement that could fizzle out. He is now at risk of losing his endorsement for the 2022 election.
▪ Adam Kinzinger: said he “accepted his fate” after voting. In Illinois, he already has a contender for the next election for the Republican Party. His name is Gene Koprowski, and he named his campaign committee “Impeach Adam Kinzinger 2022.” The new challenger was an officer of the libertarian group, the Heartland Institute. “There were many people who were disappointed with Adam’s comments,” Eli Nicolosi, chairman of the Winnebago County Republican Party, told The Washington Post.
▪ Peter Meijer: acknowledges the vote could have ended his political future. Something that may become a reality. Former Afghanistan marine Tom Norton announced his Republican candidacy against Meijer for the upcoming election. Meijer, who has less than a month in office as a Michigan congressman, wants to be part of the commission the House plans to create to investigate the assault on the Capitol. The reaction from his constituents was mixed, according to the congressman. Some expressed support, and others “felt betrayed,” he told Detroit News.
▪ Dan Newhouse: directly asked to resign. Most Republican leaders in Washington’s 4th district issued a letter with the demand. “It is impossible to defend the indefensible,” the text said according to Associated Press. Since 2015, the congressman refused to leave office, and there he continues, but the rift he created within the party in his own district was more than demonstrated. The conservative district had given him more than 66% of the vote in the November election.
▪ Tom Rice: shocked. This is what his voters in South Carolina looked like. The 7th district has a strong lean toward Trump, so he earned collective frustration. Party insiders in the state rejected the decision almost immediately. Matt Moore, a political strategist and former Republican Party chairman, even though Rice was going to retire, the AP noted, because of the electoral divisions that could arise.
▪ Fred Upton: was censured during the Allegan County Republican Convention. Members voted last Jan. 21 to “censure and condemn” the Michigan congressman. “He ignored the voice of his constituents in Allegan County,” said the party’s press release reviewed by the Michigan Live portal. A censure is a symbolic act, but the Republican Executive Committee referred its resolution to another party panel to “investigate any further action that may be available.”
▪ David Valadao: criticized Nancy Pelosi for using the lawsuit as a “political stunt” but still voted against Trump. His decision was supposedly in a “balancing” act because the 21st district he represents is always changing political leanings. Still, it drew ire among Fresno Republicans. Democrat Nicole Parra announced her candidacy to face him in 2022. Valadao’s juggling could be a last-ditch attempt to appeal to liberals and moderates without discouraging too many conservatives, experts warn.
And the senators?
The vote in the upper House was promoted on the 27th by Senator Rand Paul to declare the impeachment against Trump unconstitutional because he is no longer in office. The act proved that there are not enough votes. Still, the ‘impeachment‘ against Trump will begin next week, but senators are already seeing the fruits of their near-break with the party.
▪ Mitt Romney: Donald Trump Jr. called for him to be expelled from the party. The Republican National Committee asserted that the senator turned his back on Utah, the Washington Post retorted. Moreover, the Conservative Political Action Conference canceled his invitation to an annual event. Romney was the only Republican in the Senate to support Democrats in December 2019 during the first trial against Donald Trump. Now he says the new trial is “constitutional.”
▪ Ben Sasse: he has already branded the former president a “systematic” liar, so his vote is not surprising. Sasse seems to have come out of the preliminary consultation with flying colors. It remains to be seen what will happen when he casts his final vote.
▪ Susan Collins: voted to continue the trial but is also working with Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine on an alternative to the second trial: censure of the former president. The measure would be nothing more than a formal statement of disapproval. The senator has not ruled out legal problems for trying a president who has already left office.
▪ Lisa Murkowski: voted to acquit Trump in his first impeachment trial. At the time, she criticized lower House Democrats, accusing them of a sloppy investigation. Claiming they didn’t get things right, in her view. Now, she does not seem willing to stand up for the former president. Because of her “critical” position, she has not been openly rejected by her bench, which already knows her record.
▪ Pat Toomey: he is not seeking re-election in 2022, so perhaps he would not care so much about the consequences of going against his party. The Pennsylvania Republican asked Trump to resign after the assault on Congress. “The president spiraled into a kind of madness,” he told reporters.
Eyes are on the next instance of the trial. Donald Trump has already been preparing his defense. But beyond the outcome, it is clear that the officials involved defined their intentions within the Republican bench.