WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Cori Bush spoke for just 30 seconds during the impeachment debate Wednesday afternoon in the U.S. Capitol, but in that time, she made her point clear: saying President Donald Trump should be removed from office.
The newly sworn in Democrat, who represents parts of St. Louis and St. Louis County, repeatedly called the president a white supremacist and called on Congress to legislate in "defense of Black lives.”
“The first step in that process is to root out white supremacy starting with impeaching the white supremacist in chief,” Rep. Bush, D-District 1, said during her allotted time. “If we fail to remove the white supremacist president who incited a white supremacy insurrection, it’s communities like Missouri’s 1st District that suffer the most.”
One at a time, House lawmakers took to the floor Wednesday debating their reasons for or against impeaching President Trump for a second time. The impeachment proceedings got underway one week after a violent, pro-Trump mob breached the U.S. Capitol, sending lawmakers into hiding.
A majority of the House voted to impeach Trump Wednesday afternoon.
LATEST UPDATES: A week after Capitol riot, House votes on 2nd Trump impeachment
The impeachment process now moves to the Senate, where a trial is unlikely to happen before the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Republican leader would not agree to bring the chamber back immediately, all but ensuring a Senate trial could not begin at least until Jan. 19.
Still, McConnell did not rule out voting to convict Trump in the event of a trial. In a note to his fellow Republican senators just before the House was to begin voting, he said he is undecided.
“While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate," McConnell wrote.
Congressman Mike Bost, who represents Illinois’ 12th District, released a statement describing how he plans to vote in the impeachment debate, and why.
“If we are truly going to begin the work of healing the deep divisions in America, we must first turn down the temperature and tone down the rhetoric,” Bost wrote in an emailed statement.
The representative said he believes impeaching the president “will only make a bad situation worse,” and that the president hasn’t had a chance to defend himself.
“President Trump has committed to a peaceful transition of power one week from today; and we would all be best served by dedicating that short time to making the process as seamless as possible,” Bost wrote.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.