Several Republican members of the House cited Vice President Mike Pence in explaining their decision to oppose invoking the 25th Amendment and impeaching President Donald Trump.© J. Scott Applewhite/Pool/Getty Images Vice President Mike Pence reads the final certification of Electoral College votes cast in November’s presidential election during a joint session of Congress, after working through the night, at the Capitol on January 7, 2021 in Washington, DC. Several House Republicans have cited Pence as a reason for opposing the 25th Amendment and impeachment.
The Democrat-led House voted on Tuesday to urge Pence to use the amendment and strip Trump of his power, but the vice president refused to do so in a letter, suggesting the House resolution was an attempt to exert inappropriate pressure on him.
“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of the Nation or consistent with our Constitution,” Pence wrote.
“Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert power beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation.”
Some House Republicans seized on Pence’s remarks as they defended their decision to oppose the 25th Amendment resolution and the Democrats’ effort to impeach Trump a second time.
“I voted against this partisan resolution that Democrats insisted we vote on even after the Vice President told us he would not invoke the 25th amendment. It’s just more political games,” tweeted Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina’s 9th district.
“The provisions of our constitution are not weapons in our arsenal but are safeguards of our institutions. This effort & any effort to intimidate our VP or anyone in power further divides our nation.”
I agree with @VP – we must work together to heal this nation. Invoking the 25th Amendment or Impeachment will only divide us further. We must move forward together & work to overcome this pandemic, reopen our economy & get Americans back to work. pic.twitter.com/anIfD1JKPk— Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (@RepMalliotakis) January 13, 2021
“I agree with @VP – we must work together to heal this nation,” said Rep. Nicole Malliotakis of New York’s 11th district.
“Invoking the 25th Amendment or Impeachment will only divide us further. We must move forward together & work to overcome this pandemic, reopen our economy & get Americans back to work.”
Rep. French Hill of Arkansas’ 2nd district tweeted: “I did not support @SpeakerPelosi’s non-binding resolution pressuring the vice president to invoke the 25th Amendment because it is not the place of the Legislative Branch to give ultimatums to the Executive Branch in this manner.
“The Constitution clearly states that the vice president initiates the process of determining whether the president is unable to fulfill their duties, and I have a sworn obligation to uphold the constitution.”
Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado’s 5th district simply urged his Twitter followers to “read the letter,” adding an image of the full document.
“Congress does not have a role in invoking the 25th Amendment–a responsibility that the Constitution gives solely to the Vice President. As such, I will object to this resolution,” said Rep. Chris Jacobs of New York’s 27th district, also including an image of Pence’s letter.
Many other House Republicans cited Pence’s letter as a reason for opposing the resolution on the 25th Amendment, while some suggested that if Pence believed the president was fit to serve, there was no need for impeachment.
“The 25th Amendment designates to the Cabinet the power to remove a sitting president: The President is fit to serve out his remaining eight days in office,” wrote Rep. Warren Davidson of Ohio’s 8th district.
“I similarly reject House Democrats politically motivated bid to impeach President Trump a second time.”
So far, five Republican members of the House have said they support impeachment, including House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney. Others have said they support some form of censure.