Buck, Neguse Hold Their Positions As Impeachment Committee Vote Delayed to Friday

December 12, 2019
Joe NeguseJoe NeguseAndrew Harnik/AP Photo
Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., speaks during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on the constitutional grounds for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019.

The House Judiciary Committee plans to vote Friday morning on the articles of impeachment for President Donald Trump, setting the stage for a full House vote next week.

The vote was originally planned for Thursday. But as the committee markup stretched into its 14th hour of debate, chairman Jerry Nadler surprised and angered Republicans by postponing it to the morning. Ranking minority leader Rep. Doug Collins called the move “bush league.” But moving forward would have exposed Democrats to criticism for holding such a historic vote in the dead of night.

Nadler said the impeachment decision was a momentous one and encouraged committee members to think on it overnight.

Thursday's lengthy debate led to a rare moment of direct disagreement between the two Coloradans on the committee, as they took on the question of whether president Trump's refusal to participate in the impeachment investigation equals unlawful obstruction of Congress.

Republican Ken Buck of Weld County called Congress "an embarrassment" and dismissed the idea that the president's actions violate the separation of powers.

"In Colorado we have a different term for that," Buck said. "We call it a campaign promise"

When it was his chance to speak, Democratic Rep. Joe Neguse of Boulder pushed back on Buck's comments, "with much respect to my colleague from Colorado."

"I want to assure the American people that Obstruction of Congress to Coloradans means the same thing as it does to everyone else in the country. It means the defiance of lawfully issue subpoenas by the United States House of Representatives," he said.

Away from the microphones, Buck and Neguse have maintained what might appear to be an unlikely bipartisan friendship in Congress. But throughout the impeachment process, the two men have fallen squarely in line with their parties' positions. And the mark-up debate was no different. 

“Facts matter and I hope that each and everyone of us could agree at least on that simple point,” Neguse said as he argued that the results of the House investigation into the president’s actions around Ukraine warrant impeachment.

“Democrats are so righteous in their belief that President Trump must be impeached,” Buck said at another moment in the long debate, “that they ignore plain facts.”

Colorado’s delegation is expected to vote along party lines when the impeachment articles reach the House floor.