The House of Representatives is expected to vote Tuesday on a resolution calling for Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment against President Trump, days after violent insurrectionists, fueled by Trump’s rhetoric, overtook the U.S. Capitol.
The measure, which is likely to pass the Democratic-controlled House, urges Pence to “immediately” use his powers to convene the Cabinet and declare Trump unfit for office and assume the powers and responsibilities of acting president of the United States.
Trump “widely advertised and broadly encouraged” the protests that led to last week’s violence, the resolution argues, and then ignored calls to swiftly condemn his supporters’ actions. It also cites his repeated efforts to delegitimize the presidential election results with false claims of widespread voter fraud.
The vote comes as Democrats in the House have also filed an impeachment resolution charging Trump with fomenting the insurrection.
If Pence does not respond within 24 hours to the 25th Amendment resolution, the House plans to move forward with impeachment proceedings. Trump is just the third U.S. president to have ever been impeached. He would be the only to have been impeached twice.
Pence has given no indication that he plans to seek Trump’s removal from office. But Democrats, emboldened by bipartisan outrage over the attempted siege of the Capitol last week, are resolved in their efforts to seek Trump’s dismissal even before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20.
Given the need for the Senate to also act in that time frame, achieving that goal is unlikely — though a senior Democratic aide told NPR that Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer is exploring emergency authority to call that chamber back to move more quickly.