TODAY: House To Vote On Impeachment Inquiry, Sets The Ground Rules For Process

On Thursday, House lawmakers are expected to approve of a resolution to lay the ground rules for the impeachment process of President Trump.

While the vote is not a vote to impeach the president, it will narrow the scope of the investigation and set certain parameters around the process. The vote will include a provision that will relegate which committee or committees will head the investigation. It may potentially include a timeline for an eventual vote where lawmakers will deliberate over whether or not to impeach Trump.

The Washington Examiner reports the result of the vote is all but certain as Democrats have more than enough votes to initiate the impeachment process. A vote here would have little to no political impact on members where a vote on the eventual impeachment could make or break re-election efforts in 2020.

While the vote is likely to pass, Republican unity in voting against the measure will be something to monitor:

Republicans are whipping their GOP rank and file to oppose the measure, which House Minority Whip Steve Scalise has dubbed a “continued Soviet-style impeachment inquiry.”

A top GOP aide told the Washington Examiner “there’s strong unity” in the conference.

“We feel good about the vote,” the aide said.

Trump’s conservative flank said they believe no GOP lawmaker will vote for the resolution, although several retiring moderates may be on the fence, including Rep. Francis Rooney.

For weeks, Republican lawmakers have decried the current impeachment process for lacking transparency and accountability. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff is leading the current process and he is expected to remain the leader after Thursday’s vote.

From the Washington Examiner:

“I do not think the process we are setting forward is a fair one,” said Rep. Tom Cole, the top Republican on the rules panel. “It is not fair to the president of the United States, and it’s not fair to the people of the United States.”

Democrats scoffed at the complaints and questioned why Republicans are opposing a resolution that would finally transition the closed-door proceedings to public hearings they have been demanding.

Republican leaders say the process has lacked fairness and transparency that the new resolution does nothing to address.