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Rep. Green read impeachment articles on House floor in bid to force vote

"What do you do when the leader of the free world is a racist?" Green said.
Image: Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, at a coalition event in Washington on May 9, 2019.
Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, at a coalition event in Washington on May 9, 2019.Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call file

Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, read articles of impeachment on the House floor on Tuesday as he attempted to force a vote on the issue after President Donald Trump's remarks that four Democratic lawmakers should "go back" to the countries "they came" from.

"To condemn a racist President is not enough, we must impeach him. This will be a defining vote," said Green, who has long been calling for Trump's ouster.

No vote was held on Green's measure on Tuesday.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said House Democratic leaders still have not decided yet what they will do with Green's resolution and told NBC News that they must decide by Thursday. Speaker Nancy Pelosi was also asked how she planned to handle Green's articles of impeachment and replied: "Well, you'll find out."

While more than 80 members of the House of Representatives have called for opening an impeachment inquiry, Pelosi, D-Calif., has so far resisted.

Democrats also passed a resolution on Tuesday condemning the president's "racist comments."

Green said Tuesday in remarks on the House floor that he supported both the resolution and removing Trump from office.

"What do you do when the leader of the free world is a racist? What do you do? Well, here's what you do. You file a resolution condemning the president for racist comments directed at members of Congress. What do you do? You file Articles of Impeachment,” Green said.

He continued: "These two things are not mutually exclusive, we can do this — condemn for the comments who have been made — and we can do this, impeach for the harm that the comments have done."

A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that enthusiasm for impeachment may be waning: The July survey found 21 percent of registered voters say that there is enough evidence for Congress to begin impeachment hearings now. In June, 27 percent in the poll the same thing, a 6-point drop in one month — though that survey was of Americans, not registered voters.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on Tuesday that he believed the House to be considering impeachment in terms of "the kinds of things that President Trump has done in terms of obstructing justice," not his attacks on the so-called squad of female lawmakers of color.

Some Democratic leaders have resisted impeachment, fearing that it would distract from the party's policy agenda, could rally Trump's base, isn't popular with the public and is doomed to fail in the Republican-controlled Senate.