Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, said he will read articles of impeachment on the House floor on Tuesday as he attempts 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," Green said in a statement. He has long been calling for Trump's ouster.
While morethan 80 members of the House of Representatives have called for opening an impeachment inquiry, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has so far resisted.
Green's bid to force a vote on articles of impeachment will require Democratic leadership to act — either by tabling them, referring them to committee or allowing a vote — opening the party up to internal debate and criticism on the divisive issue.
Democrats also have introduced a resolution condemning the president's "racist comments."
Green said Tuesday in remarks on the House floor 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 pollfound 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 six-point drop in one month — though that survey was of Americans, not registered voters.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer 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 will district from the party's policy agenda, could rally Trump's base, isn't popular with the public and is doomed to failure in the Republican-controlled Senate.