Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) has voted No to impeach President Donald Trump on one charge of inciting an insurrection.
Fitzpatrick released a statement explaining his decision Wednesday. He added an impeachment trial would distract from Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office.
Instead, the Bucks County Congressman pointed again to his resolution to censure the president with similar language to the article of impeachment, saying it would still hold Trump accountable for his “outrageous conduct.”
Ten Republicans broke from their party to vote to advance the article of impeachment. PA’s nine Democrats and nine Republicans voted along party lines.
Fitzpatrick’s full statement is below:
The only overwhelmingly bipartisan and bicameral solution that both holds the President accountable for his outrageous conduct and also unifies our nation is censure language that mirrors and is identical to the Democrat’s impeachment resolution. I introduced this very censure resolution the same day the article of impeachment was introduced. If we want to both hold the President accountable and unify our nation with a bipartisan voice, this censure resolution is the only path forward. Today’s action by the House is highly likely to result in a second acquittal of the President, which will just perpetuate and exacerbate the divide in our country.
A seamless start to a new administration’s First 100 Days includes the timely confirmation of cabinet appointees and other positions requiring Senate confirmation. This requires our country to show a sense of unity, while respecting the will of our voters in their choice for President. I was provided with a great amount of hope that our country would be able to lower the temperature following the most turbulent election of our lifetime when I learned the news that Vice President Pence would be continuing a longstanding tradition of our nation by attending the inauguration of President-Elect Biden. Any impeachment proceedings occurring while our country’s priority should be coming together would cause considerable harm towards achieving civility and unifying our country for the betterment of our future.
Regardless of party, I want every new President to have the chance to succeed because when the President succeeds, the country succeeds and moves forward. I find myself agreeing with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin when he recently said about starting impeachment proceedings “I think this is so ill-advised for Joe Biden to be coming in, trying to heal the country, trying to be the president of all the people when we are going to be so divided and fighting again.” Forcing a time-consuming and divisive trial in the Senate would undermine President Biden’s ability to govern effectively. Because of these concerns, I support a bipartisan censure resolution making sure that the Congress holds the President accountable by putting it on the record that Congress condemns his reprehensible conduct which led to the riots at our nation’s Capitol—a permanent stain on his legacy. Our country deserves closure, and the opportunity to begin anew with the incoming administration. And a censure resolution is the only unifying means for achieving this.