Florida lawmakers divided on impeachment as House vote approaches

Washington D.C.

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – The House Judiciary Committee voted to impeach President Donald Trump on Friday.

The articles of impeachment now move to a full floor vote in the House of Representatives. That vote has lawmakers split.

“Nothing about this has been bipartisan,” Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) said Friday.

Steube, a Republican from Bradenton, has played a major role in the impeachment process. He is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, along with his fellow Florida Republican Matt Gaetz.

“For Democrats, impeachment is their drug, it is their obsession, it is their total focus,” Gaetz said Friday.

After 14 hours of debate lasting late into the night on Thursday, the Judiciary Committee returned Friday morning and met for just over seven minutes. That was long enough to vote to impeach President Trump for abuse of power and obstructing Congress.

Twenty-three members of the committee voted yes and 17 voted no. Every yes vote was from a Democrat. Every no vote was from a Republican.

The full House of Representative must now decide whether or not to impeach the president.

Washington Correspondent Kellie Meyer asked Rep. Steube if any Republicans said to him privately that they would like to vote to impeach President Trump.

“No, absolutely not,” Steube said.

It appears that most Democrats plan to vote for impeachment, although several are still on the fence.

“I’ll make my decision next week,” Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) said Thursday.

The Democratic Illinois congresswoman said ahead of Friday’s vote that she’ll take the weekend to read the articles and look at the evidence.

Democrats from Virginia, Iowa and California also said they were undecided.

But Democratic Florida Congresswoman Kathy Castor said her mind is made up.

“Yes, I am going to support impeachment of the president,” Rep. Castor said Thursday.

Some of those undecided Democrats will meet with their constituents over the weekend. That way they will have a decision ready for the final vote, which is expected as early as next week.

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