Reaction to the U.S. House of Representatives vote to formalize an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump split along partisan lines, just like the vote itself.
Iowa’s Democratic members of the U.S. House, U.S. Reps. Abby Finkenauer, Dave Loebsack, and Cindy Axne, all voted in favor of the resolution.
“With the new information and testimony coming out, it only reinforces the concerns around President Trump’s conduct. We are now seeing more evidence that draws a clearer picture showing the president may have jeopardized national security for his own personal gain. It is important that Congress, and the American people, have more opportunities to learn the facts and understand the full scope of the president’s actions. The ground rules laid out in today’s resolution will make testimony and facts public. It will also give President Trump a more than fair opportunity to defend his actions, going beyond other modern impeachment proceedings. I continue to support the investigations of the congressional committees looking into this matter, and will always stand by and defend the Constitution of the United States,” Finkenauer who represents Iowa’s 1st Congressional District said in a released statement.
Loebsack, who is not running for re-election in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District said, “Today is a solemn day in the history of the U.S. House, but because of the serious allegations against the President, the House must continue its due diligence and move this investigation forward. Today’s vote was a necessary step to move to the next stage of the investigation and get all the facts out in the open for the American people to see and make their own judgment. I continue to hold out hope that the administration will end its stonewalling to ensure Congress and the American people are able to follow the evidence where it may lead.”
“I’ve heard from Iowans across my district, and people on all sides want to get to the bottom of what happened in an open transparent process that follows the law. That’s what I voted for today—a path forward for fair hearings that are open to the public and will give the American people the facts they deserve,” Axne said in a released statement.
“I came to Congress to work for the middle class–getting people better health care and better-paying jobs while making the federal government more accountable. That work remains my number one priority. While the investigation continues, I will continue to work on lowering health care and drug costs, increasing access to job training programs, and helping people affected by natural disasters in Iowa.”
Finkenauer, Loebsack, and Axne were latecomers to supporting the impeachment inquiry compared to other members of their caucus.
Iowa’s sole Republican member of the House, U.S. Rep. Steve King, who represents Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, voted against the resolution.
“Today is Halloween, and the hyper-partisan, impeach-at-all-costs, Democratic majority in the House has just played a Halloween impeachment trick on all of America,” King said in a released statement. “I reject the Democrats’ efforts to legitimize this sham impeachment process, and all Americans should be concerned that the person most empowered by the House impeachment resolution voted on today is Rep. Adam Schiff, a man who just faced a censure effort based on his efforts to deceive the American public on this subject, and who has just had an ethics complaint filed against him as well. President Trump is correct to describe this a witch hunt, and the President’s phrase takes on added significance with the actions of the Democrats in the House today.”
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has criticized the impeachment inquiry prior to the vote. He released the following statement:
House Democrats announced the opening of impeachment proceedings more than a month ago. So far, this process has been defined by its secrecy, lack of due process and fundamental unfairness. This vote is an implicit admission by House Democrats of exactly that. It’s a day late and a dollar short.
Democrats’ impeachment proceedings are rooted in animus, a lack of rights for the accused, no transparency and anger at the 2016 election results. Even with this long-overdue resolution, House Democrats are still denying House Republicans the unrestricted right to call their own witnesses, to rebut Democratic witnesses and to have the same right to subpoena witnesses that the Democrats have granted themselves. And the president’s counsel still doesn’t have the right to be present and ask questions of witnesses before the Intelligence Committee, which has been given the role the Judiciary Committee has played in the past. This all stands in stark contrast to previous impeachment proceedings.
As a result, this will continue to be a purely partisan and political process – a continuation of Democrats’ impeachment obsession that began before President Trump was even inaugurated. This entire process has been contaminated from the beginning and the Senate may have a difficult time taking seriously an impeachment founded on these bases.
U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, told Caffeinated Thoughts she does not believe the vote will change anything.
“It’s been a strictly political exercise over in the House, so I’m not sure this will actually change anything. House Democrats have been heck-bent on impeaching the president since 2016, I don’t think they’re changing their tune anytime soon,” she said.
State Sen. Randy Feenstra, R-Hull, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Steve King in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, also criticized the inquiry.
“Today, despite bipartisan opposition, the House of Representatives voted to formally proceed with impeachment proceedings. With today’s bipartisan vote against impeachment, it is time to stop Democrats in Congress from trying to undo to 2016 election and instead, focus on passing trade policies that protect Iowa farmers, keeping our economy moving and reducing the regulatory burdens for families, farms and job creators,” Feenstra said in a released statement.
He then took an opportunity to take a swing at King.
“Worse yet, the 4th District was left without a voice in the process following Congressman King’s removal from the House Judiciary Committee where this process began last month. Now, more than ever, we need an effective conservative leader in Congress fighting for the 4th District. We need a strong conservative voice to protect our Iowa values,” Feenstra added.
Former U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling who is running in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District’s Republican Primary after the vote called the impeachment inquiry a distraction.
Mariannette Miller-Meeks, also running in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District’s Republican primary said Democrats are trying to reverse the 2016 election.
“Rita Hart and Dave Loebsack want to reverse the 2016 election results, and this is their sad way of doing that,” said Miller-Meeks. “Due to the lack of openness and transparency, this entire process has been a stain on the institution of the House of Representatives. It hasn’t been a fair process and it’s certainly not been a process of which the American people deserve. Instead of impeaching and removing President Trump from office, Rita Hart and Dave Loebsack should focus on passing USMCA, reducing health care costs, and creating policies that will continue to improve our economy,” she said.
Bret Richards, the former mayor of Irwin who is running in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District Republican primary said the resolution vote represents a “new level of crazy” on Facebook.
Former U.S. Rep David Young who is running to win back the seat he last representing Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. He criticized Axne of having misplaced priorities on Twitter.
State Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Marion, who is running in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District’s race made the following statement on Facebook:
Today Abby Finkenauer, Nancy Pelosi, and Adam Schiff officially voted to move forward with impeachment. The Democrats in Congress continue to focus on endless investigations instead of passing USMCA, improving our healthcare system, and securing our border. When I go to Washington, I’ll focus on solving problems that really matter to Iowa families. We need new leadership that puts people before politics.
**Will update with additional statements.