[Congressional Record Volume 167, Number 7 (Tuesday, January 12, 2021)]
[House]
[Pages H126-H131]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




 PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H. RES. 21, CALLING ON VICE PRESIDENT 
PENCE TO CONVENE AND MOBILIZE THE CABINET TO ACTIVATE SECTION 4 OF THE 
   25TH AMENDMENT TO DECLARE PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP INCAPABLE OF 
       EXECUTING THE DUTIES OF HIS OFFICE; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

  Ms. SCANLON. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I 
call up House Resolution 38 and ask for its immediate consideration.
  The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

                               H. Res. 38

       Resolved, That upon adoption of this resolution it shall be 
     in order without intervention of any point of order to 
     consider in the House the resolution (H. Res. 21) calling on 
     Vice President Michael R. Pence to convene and mobilize the 
     principal officers of the executive departments of the 
     Cabinet to activate section 4 of the 25th Amendment to 
     declare President Donald J. Trump incapable of executing the 
     duties of his office and to immediately exercise powers as 
     acting President. The amendment to the preamble printed in 
     the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this 
     resolution shall be considered as adopted. The resolution, as 
     amended, shall be considered as read. The previous question 
     shall be considered as ordered on the resolution and 
     preamble, as amended, to adoption without intervening motion 
     or demand for division of the question except one hour of 
     debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and 
     ranking minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary or 
     their respective designees.
       Sec. 2.  The prohibition against personality in debate 
     shall not apply during consideration of measures specified in 
     section 3 of this resolution with respect to references to 
     the President.
       Sec. 3.  The measures referred to in section 2 of this 
     resolution are as follows:
        (a) House Resolution 21.
       (b) Any special order of business providing for the 
     consideration of House Resolution 24.
       Sec. 4. (a) During a covered period designated pursuant to 
     section 3(s) of House Resolution 8--
       (1) the Sergeant-at-Arms is authorized and directed to 
     impose a fine against a Member, Delegate, or the Resident 
     Commissioner for the failure to wear a mask in contravention 
     of the Speaker's announced policies of January 4, 2021; and
       (2) a fine imposed pursuant to this section shall be 
     treated as though imposed under clause 3(g) of rule II, and 
     shall be administered as though pursuant to clause 4(d) of 
     rule II, except that--
       (A) the time periods described in clause 3(g)(3)(C) of rule 
     II shall not commence until the Committee on Ethics has 
     adopted written rules, and the chair of the Committee on 
     Ethics shall notify all Members, Delegates, or the Resident 
     Commissioner with pending appeals upon such commencement; and
       (B) a fine subject to appeal under clause 3(g)(3) of rule 
     II shall proceed unless dismissed within the time period 
     provided under clause 3(g)(3)(C) of rule II.
       (b) Subsection (a) establishes a standard of conduct within 
     the meaning of clause 3(a)(2) of rule XI.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman from Pennsylvania is 
recognized for 1 hour.
  Ms. SCANLON. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I yield the 
customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Cole), pending 
which I yield myself such time as I may consume. During consideration 
of this resolution, all time yielded is for the purpose of debate only.


                             General Leave

  Ms. SCANLON. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members be 
given 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from Pennsylvania?
  There was no objection.
  Ms. SCANLON. Mr. Speaker, today the Rules Committee met and reported 
a closed rule, House Resolution 38, providing for consideration of 
House Resolution 21, calling on Vice President Michael R. Pence to 
convene and mobilize the principal officers of the executive 
departments of the Cabinet to activate section 4 of the 25th Amendment 
to declare President Donald J. Trump incapable of executing the duties 
of his office and to immediately exercise powers as acting President.
  The rule provides 1 hour of debate equally divided and controlled by 
the chair and ranking member of the Committee on the Judiciary or a 
designee. The rule self-executes a manager's amendment by Chairman 
Nadler. The rule provides that the prohibition against engaging in 
personalities during debate, with respect to references to the 
President, shall not apply during consideration of House Resolution 21 
or any special order of business relating to the impeachment of the 
President considered on January 13, 2021.
  Finally, the rule authorizes and directs the Sergeant at Arms to 
impose a fine against a Member, Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner 
for the failure to wear a mask in contravention of the Speaker's 
announced policy on this subject for the duration of the pandemic.
  Mr. Speaker, we are here today to debate the rule for House 
Resolution 21, a resolution calling for Vice President Pence to invoke 
the 25th Amendment and declare President Donald Trump incapable of 
executing the duties of his office. We take this action solemnly and 
with grave concern for the safety and security of our Nation and its 
people, even in the final days of this President's administration.
  Last Wednesday, a lawless mob breached this Chamber with the most 
evil and destructive intent. They were here to take the law into their 
own hands, to disrupt Congress as it counted the electoral college 
votes, and to overturn the lawful election of Joseph Biden as our 46th 
President.
  As violent invaders broke windows and rammed doors, they chanted that 
they wanted to hang the Vice President and kidnap the Speaker of the 
House, and they brought the tools to do it. They beat one police 
officer to death, tased others, and tried to shoot one with his own 
gun. Another officer will likely lose an eye. Scores of others

[[Page H127]]

suffered head injuries when they were beaten with pipes. Blood was 
spilled on the marble floor just outside this room.
  Members, staff, and reporters were forced to take cover under 
furniture and barricade themselves in rooms, clutching gas masks and 
fearing for their lives as the President's MAGA supporters chanted and 
raged nearby. Journalists were specifically targeted and beaten. 
Explosive devices were placed nearby to divert the police from 
protecting the Capitol.
  This was not a peaceful protest. These were crimes against our 
country and the people who go to work every day on Capitol Hill. Just 
this afternoon, the FBI announced that it expects to charge hundreds of 
people with crimes ranging from simple trespass to conspiracy and 
sedition, to weapons offenses, to felony murder.
  Crimes like this do not occur in a vacuum. They must be planned. They 
must be led.
  The attack on the Capitol was incited by this administration. For 
months, they told their supporters that if they didn't win the 
election, the election was rigged. When the majority of American voters 
decided they had had enough of this chaos, they declared that the 
election had been stolen. The administration invited the President's 
most rabid supporters to come to D.C. on January 6 for a wild protest. 
Then the administration whipped them into a frenzy and sent the mob 
across town to attack the Capitol and disrupt the counting of electoral 
college votes. But it didn't end there.
  The President reportedly watched with excitement as the news media 
began streaming images of the terror at the Capitol through electronic 
devices in America and around the world. The President tweeted that the 
Vice President had betrayed him. And even after the violence was 
apparent, the President and his lawyer placed calls to allies on 
Capitol Hill, trying to persuade them to prolong their objections to 
the counting of the electoral votes. What the administration didn't do 
for hours was to lift a finger to call off the mob or to rally support 
to defend the government, the historic monuments in the Capitol, the 
police, or especially the people under siege in the building. Members 
here in this Chamber know that, for hours, the President refused to 
return their calls begging for help.

  Mr. Speaker, in the days since, the administration has continued to 
claim that the election was rigged. It has denied any responsibility 
for the riot, and praised the rioters, all while reports proliferate 
that the administration's supporters are planning more violence in the 
weeks ahead.
  This is why this President remains a clear and present danger to the 
country, so long as he continues to serve. The reality is that we all--
even the most loyal political supporters--know that this President is 
unfit for office. Any other President with an ounce of character would 
have resigned after seeing the bloody consequences of the actions on 
Wednesday. Any other administration would have invoked the 25th 
Amendment long ago.
  I don't care if a President incites a riot against Congress on his 
first day or the last day of his or her Presidency. Such an act is a 
crime against our government, much less against the people who are 
terrorized or killed in the attack. If a President can refuse to 
acknowledge the will of American voters, then incite a coup to stay in 
power without punishment, then our democracy is lost.
  Mr. Speaker, that is why it is vital for Vice President Pence and the 
Cabinet to do the right thing--to invoke the 25th Amendment. Otherwise, 
this Congress must remove Donald Trump from office.
  I have heard the calls for unity, and I agree that now is the time to 
come forward in unity, to defend our country, not to defend a man who 
has proven himself incompetent to occupy the office of the President 
for another day.
  I am grateful to those Members of the Republican Party who agreed 
that the time has come to put loyalty to country above partisan 
considerations. And we welcome their support in taking whatever actions 
are necessary to end this chaos, to defend our government, and to 
protect the American people.

                              {time}  1830

  I also find the cries of partisanship by the President's remaining 
supporters to be unconvincing. The whole world watched in horror on 
January 6 as the administration encouraged a mob to attack the seat of 
our democracy to disrupt the election of Joseph R. Biden and then stood 
by as rioters sacked the Capitol.
  Many civic leaders from both parties have condemned the President's 
actions and called for his removal. So, no, this is not partisan.
  But I invite the President's supporters in Congress--no, I beg them--
to join the American people in holding this President accountable for 
the violence we experienced last week and to prevent further chaos in 
the days to come.
  Before I conclude, I want to take a minute to give my deepest 
condolences to the families of the Capitol Police officers who died as 
a result of this attack. I want to thank the men and women of the 
Metropolitan and Capitol Police forces who valiantly defended both our 
democracy and the people who work on the Hill and wish a speedy 
recovery to the scores who were injured during the attack.
  I also want to thank our tireless facilities and custodial staff for 
putting the building back together after terrorists violated it and the 
members of the press corps who have been so abused by this 
administration and were specifically targeted by this mob but continued 
documenting the attack so Americans could see what was really 
happening.
  Lastly, I want to thank our staff across the Capitol for their 
bravery and dedication to public service. I want to thank them for the 
work they do every day but especially for their heroism in returning to 
the floor last Wednesday night to help us continue the electoral 
college vote count, and I thank them for being back here with us today. 
We are indebted to them for their service to our country.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend, the gentlewoman from 
Pennsylvania (Ms. Scanlon) for yielding me the customary 30 minutes, 
and I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Just a few days ago, the Nation was shaken by the violent and 
destructive actions of an outrageous mob that stormed the Capitol and 
attempted to gain access to this very Chamber, seeking to harm innocent 
lives and disrupt democracy at work.
  I vehemently condemn their lawless actions. This never should have 
happened, and the perpetrators of these despicable crimes that took 
place in this building must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the 
law.
  While Americans have the right to passionately voice their views and 
peacefully dissent in protest, the siege on our Capitol last Wednesday 
was the furthest thing from peaceful protest. As a result of the 
violent and frightening events of the day, six lives have been lost.
  This includes two courageous Capitol Police officers who put 
themselves in harm's way to protect us, secure the building, and 
restore order. We will never forget their selfless sacrifices and 
bravery. Our deepest prayers remain with their families, friends, loved 
ones, and the entire United States Capitol Police force as they grapple 
with their heavy loss.
  As we seek to pick up the pieces and move forward healing our Nation, 
I am concerned that the majority is proceeding with the wrong course of 
action.
  Earlier today, Mr. Speaker, the Rules Committee met and reported out 
a rule for consideration of House Resolution 21. This is a nonbinding 
resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to convene the Cabinet 
and declare President Trump incapable of executing his duties pursuant 
to section 4 of the 25th Amendment.
  I think this resolution is misguided and inappropriate for the 
legislative branch to pursue. As such, I must oppose it.
  Mr. Speaker, under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, when it 
appears the President is unable to fulfill his or her duties, it is the 
responsibility of the Vice President, with the concurrence of a 
majority of the Cabinet, to initiate the process for making that 
determination.
  That responsibility, grave as it is, rests solely with the Vice 
President. There is no role for Congress in this

[[Page H128]]

process. The only role for Congress arises later and only in the 
circumstances where there is a dispute between the President and Vice 
President about the President's ability to fulfill his or her duties, 
but we are not faced with that situation now.
  Nor is this resolution intended to designate, by law, another body 
besides the Cabinet to exercise this power, which the text of the 25th 
Amendment says it may do. Instead, with today's resolution, what the 
majority is asking the House to do is to assume a power it does not 
have. The House has no role in initiating section 4 of the 25th 
Amendment, and we should not pretend otherwise. Instead, that power 
lies with the Vice President.
  And we should be very clear about what this resolution actually is. 
It is an attempt to pressure the Vice President into performing a duty 
he clearly does not believe is necessary at this time.
  Mr. Speaker, I was here in the Capitol last week, as were all of my 
colleagues. We all had the opportunity to watch Vice President Pence as 
he fulfilled his duty under the Constitution. He showed sound judgment 
and poise under pressure, and his actions were above reproach. Indeed, 
he fulfilled his oath of office and acted in a manner befitting his 
constitutional role. It was a statesman-like performance under the most 
difficult of circumstances.
  Despite witnessing the Vice President's sound judgment and ability to 
fulfill his oath in person, the majority is now seeking to push him 
into performing an additional action under the 25th Amendment. The Vice 
President has not done what the majority wishes him to do, and so they 
are bringing up this resolution now in effort to pressure him into 
doing so.
  This act, attempting to substitute the House's judgment for the Vice 
President's, is not contemplated anywhere in the Constitution. As we 
all saw last Wednesday, Vice President Pence's judgment is sound. There 
is no need for the House to attempt to substitute its judgment for his 
own.

  I personally have strong faith in him, and I believe he will consider 
his constitutional duty in the same manner that he carries out all of 
the other constitutional duties assigned to him: in a forthright manner 
that fulfills his oath of office and attests to his personal integrity.
  Should the Vice President ever believe that the 25th Amendment needs 
to be invoked, I have no doubt that Vice President Pence, both as a 
leader, as a former House colleague, and as a friend, would exercise 
good judgment with respect to performing that duty. That he has not 
taken that action thus far is not an indication that the House needs to 
push him to do so. His record of sound judgment should speak to us on 
this issue.
  As such, I urge my colleagues to reject this resolution. I urge a 
``no'' vote on the rule, a ``no'' vote on the underlying measure, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. SCANLON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, let me thank the gentlewoman from 
Pennsylvania for her leadership and my good friend from Oklahoma as 
well.
  My friend from Oklahoma may be, in fact, accurate to the extent that 
the 25th Amendment stands on its own as actions that the Vice President 
will take. But we are a coequal branch of government, and Mr. Raskin's 
resolution is an appropriate resolution because we have a 
responsibility to govern and to protect the American people.
  So this resolution is not in violation of the Constitution, because 
it is the Congress calling upon the Vice President to reflect on 
January 6, a day in infamy, to reflect the fact that there were six 
people who died, that we lost two precious law enforcement Capitol Hill 
Police, their injuries in many ways attributable to this, some in 
different ways than others, and we lost Americans.
  Clearly, it is a long chain of events that goes back to the President 
of the United States. The President, when a duly announced election 
came about on November 6, 2020, proceeded to declare that it had been 
stolen and continued to stoke the fires of his believers to begin to 
plan some kind of attack, because he kept saying, ``Come to Washington. 
I will see you there.''
  Then, of course, as time went on, I valued the President's right to 
the courts, of which he went, but he did not find that to be a solution 
for him.
  So House Resolution 21 is the Congress speaking, and we have every 
right, as a coequal branch, to speak. Why?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Ms. SCANLON. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentlewoman from Texas an 
additional 30 seconds.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. We have that right, Mr. Speaker, because the FBI has 
indicated that they have seen 100,000 digital media, and they will be 
looking for more to see those who endangered all of those who were 
here.
  My appreciation to the police and the floor staff and law 
enforcement, custodial staff, our staff, media, and others who were put 
in harm's way along with Members.
  So I rise to support this resolution because it does not violate the 
Constitution or the intent of the 25th Amendment. It provides for the 
Congress to speak to ask the Vice President to recognize that this 
President is the only one who has ever stoked this kind of action.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Arizona (Mrs. Lesko), who is my very good friend and 
fellow member of the Rules Committee.
  Mrs. LESKO. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the rule.
  Over the last week, we have heard calls from both parties' leaders, 
past and present, about the need for unity in our Nation. We have heard 
President-elect Biden and other members of the Democratic Party call 
for unity, a path forward for our Nation full of mutual consideration 
and respect.
  Yet here we are today with Democrats charging in the opposite 
direction, further dividing our Nation by calling for the invocation of 
the 25th Amendment by the Vice President.
  Let's consider this for a moment. My Democratic colleagues are 
demanding Vice President Pence invoke the 25th Amendment and take over 
as President. With these calls, it is clear they have full faith in the 
Vice President and his ability to act in a manner that is consistent 
with his constitutional responsibility. Simply put, they trust him to 
do the job.
  Yet the very demand they are making insinuates that Vice President 
Pence cannot be trusted to make the decision to invoke the 25th 
Amendment on his own. It calls into question the core of his judgment.
  If you trust someone to lead our Nation and be the acting President, 
shouldn't you also trust that same person to take the steps necessary 
to safeguard it if needed?
  With that, I urge opposition to the rule.
  Ms. SCANLON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Garamendi).
  Mr. GARAMENDI. Mr. Speaker, I rise today with great sadness and anger 
over the events that transpired on January 6, and I rise with steadfast 
determination to take every possible action to ensure that those who 
incited and committed the unconscionable acts on that day are brought 
to justice.
  Last week's violent insurrection on the U.S. Capitol left at least 
six people dead and dozens injured. It was a stain on our Nation and 
our democracy. They beat police officers, they murdered a police 
officer, they planted pipe bombs, they brandished weapons, and they 
left our Nation shocked and mourning.
  Just as this Congress returned mere hours after this insurrection to 
certify the lawful results of the 2020 Presidential election, we stand 
here today prepared to take firm, decisive, and necessary action to 
restore our country.
  No President who invites thousands of his most devoted supporters to 
Washington and urges them to fight his political enemies by committing 
a seditious act on our democracy should be allowed to remain in office.
  If the Vice President does not act to hold the President accountable, 
then we leave this Nation vulnerable to future demagogues.
  That brings us here today, on this somber day, to carry out our 
sacred oath to defend and protect the Constitution from all enemies, 
foreign and domestic.

[[Page H129]]

  Mr. Speaker, I will vote to impeach those responsible, and I urge my 
colleagues to do the same.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today with great sadness and anger over the 
events that transpired on January 6th, and steadfast determination to 
take every possible action to ensure those who incited and committed 
the unconscionable acts on that day are brought to justice.
  Last week's violent insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, which has left 
at least five people dead and dozens injured, was a stain on our nation 
and our democracy. The President's blatantly false claims about 
election fraud, which were parroted by current administration officials 
and members of the House and Senate, finally reached a tipping point 
last week when these boldface lies gave way to a violent assault on our 
nation's Capitol. Even after 64 failed attempts in federal court to 
substantiate the baseless claims about election fraud, the President, 
his administration, and members of Congress continued to double down 
and use these mistruths to incite a mob to stage a bloody insurrection 
against the United States Government. They beat and murdered police 
officers, they planted pipe bombs, brandished weapons, and left our 
nation shocked and in mourning.
  What does it mean, then, for America that a sitting President invited 
thousands of his most fervent supporters to Washington and incited them 
to commence a violent occupation of the world's citadel of democracy--
the United States Capitol?
  Without a proper check and proportional response to these events, we 
will be doomed to re-live the same hell over and over again. In time, 
we will lose our democracy, our hallowed institutions, and irreparably 
tear at the very fabric of our nation. As elected leaders of this 
nation, we have a right, but more importantly, a moral obligation to 
respond to those who incited this riot in the strongest possible terms.
  Just as this Congress returned mere hours after this insurrection to 
certify the lawful results of the 2020 Presidential election, we stand 
here today prepared to take firm, decisive, and necessary action to 
restore our country from the heinous state it spiraled into on 1/6/
2021.
  Mr. Speaker I rise today to implore the Vice President of the United 
States and the members of the President's cabinet to invoke the 25th 
Amendment and remove this dangerous President from office before he can 
inflict more harm on our nation. It's time for the Vice President to 
stand up for American democracy. I will also join my colleagues in 
supporting articles of impeachment against the President.
  The President's violent rhetoric and actions pose a significant 
threat to our nation with every passing minute that he's allowed to 
remain in office. No President who invites thousands of his most 
devoted supporters to Washington and urges them to ``fight'' his 
political enemies by committing a seditious attack on our Capitol 
should be allowed to remain in office. Our nation has endured and 
persevered through so much, and it will survive this President. But if 
we do not act and hold him accountable, then we will leave our nation 
vulnerable to a future demagogue. That brings us here on this somber 
day to carry out our sacred oath to defend and protect the Constitution 
from all enemies foreign and domestic.
  I will vote to impeach this President, and I urge my colleagues to do 
the same.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, if we defeat the previous question, I will offer an 
amendment to the rule to immediately bring up a resolution establishing 
a bipartisan national commission on the domestic terrorist attack on 
the United States Capitol.
  This commission, modeled on the 9/11 Commission, will be charged with 
examining and reporting upon the facts and causes relating to the 
attack that occurred on January 6 of 2021 and with providing 
appropriate findings, conclusions, and recommendations for corrective 
measures.
  I can think of no more appropriate path for Congress to follow, Mr. 
Speaker, than to ensure that a bipartisan commission reviews all 
evidence and reports back to us on this horrific event.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to insert the text of my 
amendment in the Record, along with extraneous material, immediately 
prior to the vote on the previous question.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Oklahoma?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, I urge a ``no'' vote on the previous question.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from the great State 
of Kentucky (Mr. Guthrie) for further explanation of the amendment.

                              {time}  1845

  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Oklahoma for 
yielding.
  All of us just still are speechless about what happened last 
Wednesday. It is just amazing that it happened here, and I condemn it 
in the utmost words as a violent act against the Capitol Building. We 
must find those who did it, and we must prosecute them to the fullest 
extent of the law.
  Every time I travel to Washington, the first thing I look for, as I 
did today, is if I could see it from my airplane window or if I could 
see it driving across the Potomac, the dome. I always feel pride that 
the people of the Second District of Kentucky, Mr. Speaker, allow me to 
serve under the dome.
  When I got here today, it is still here. It is still standing. It is 
still the beacon throughout the world. It is bruised, but it is there. 
It is something that we all hold dear.
  The protection of this building, that dome, this building, the office 
buildings but, most importantly, the people who work here, not those of 
us who are just elected to be here but those of us who work here and in 
service, I have faces I have talked to tonight on the floor that--I was 
not on the floor when it happened, but I knew the faces of the people 
who were, not just my colleagues, but those standing at the doors here 
tonight, Mr. Speaker, who have been through so much.
  We can't let this happen again. If we defeat the PQ, the amendment my 
friend from Oklahoma has is a bipartisan commission to examine the 
circumstances and the attack, as well as its aftermath.
  It will be modeled after 9/11 Commission to reduce duplication and 
increase communication and info-sharing between relevant government 
entities and law enforcement. The goal is to investigate, find the 
facts, and deliver reports so this can never happen again, and so we 
can better protect the Capitol complex and, most importantly, the 
employees that work here, serving our great country. We will protect 
them moving forward.
  We all want answers, and this is the most prudent step at this time. 
We will follow wherever the facts lead us and take appropriate actions 
in response.
  I urge the defeat of the PQ and the adoption of the amendment.
  Ms. SCANLON. Mr. Speaker, we, of course, share the concern of our 
colleagues from the other side of the aisle that an incident like this 
never happens again. That is why we are urging the Vice President to 
invoke the 25th Amendment, because of the clear and present danger of 
continued violence under this administration.
  While I believe there will be a time to talk about bipartisan efforts 
to have an investigation through this House, this is not the moment for 
it.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from California 
(Ms. Matsui), a distinguished former member of the Rules Committee.
  Ms. MATSUI. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the rule 
providing for consideration of the resolution before us today, calling 
on the Vice President to invoke the Fifth Amendment and remove 
President Trump from office immediately.
  Last week, members of both parties came to the floor of this Chamber 
to take the oath of office. In that oath, each of us pledged to defend 
the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I believe 
that oath compels me and my colleagues to act today.
  Last Wednesday's armed insurrection at the United States Capitol was 
a coordinated attempt to overthrow our democratic process with 
violence. Make no mistake, these rioters viewed the President's 
repeated claims of fraud as a mandate to act. Lies, misinformation, and 
demagoguery have consequences.
  Unfortunately, America witnessed those consequences last week, some 
on television, some under tables in barricaded offices, some in these 
Chambers, and some in the last moments of life.
  It is not with joy that I immediately called on Vice President Pence 
to invoke the 25th Amendment. I am cosponsor of both this resolution 
and the Articles of Impeachment because I believe I have an obligation 
to honor my oath and defend the Constitution against a grave domestic 
threat.

[[Page H130]]

  On a personal note, I am taking this stand for the future of my 
grandchildren. Our obligation to them and to future generations is that 
this democracy stands.
  So, it is with sadness but firm resolve that I rise to support this 
rule and implore my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to join 
me.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes the gentlewoman from 
Michigan (Mrs. McClain), who will be giving her first address on the 
floor of the House.
  Mrs. McCLAIN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  I rise today to echo many of my colleagues in the call for unity and 
a peaceful transition of power. I say this as a believer in the 
Constitution and the fact that the election has been certified.
  First, the incitement of politically motivated violence that we saw 
last week is intolerable. Words have consequences, and, yes, the 
President could have done more. But I ask you this: Doesn't everybody 
need to play by the same rules?
  Let me highlight some other questionable statements.
  And I quote: ``Let's make sure we show up wherever we have to show 
up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a 
department store, at a gas station, you get out and you create a crowd, 
and you push back on them, and you tell them they are not welcome 
anymore, anywhere.'' That was not President Trump.
  Let me give you another one. ``I just don't even know why there 
aren't uprisings all over the country.'' Again, not President Trump.
  Can we all agree that at times our emotions get in the way because we 
love this country so much? But I ask you this: Whatever is good for one 
side, isn't it good for the other?
  We all have the same name on the front of our jersey, and that is the 
United States of America. We need to start acting like it and let our 
actions follow our words.

  Impeachment only incites more division. It does not provide unity.
  I offer a solution. I am ready to come together and get to work for 
this great country in which we live.
  Ms. SCANLON. I would just suggest that sedition is inherently 
divisive, and it is difficult to unify before there has been 
accountability.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from New York 
(Mr. Suozzi).
  Mr. SUOZZI. Mr. Speaker, I support invoking the 25th Amendment to 
remove President Trump from office.
  Former Congressman Tom Lantos, a Holocaust survivor, would often say 
the veneer of civilization is paper-thin. We are its guardians, and we 
cannot rest.
  I was sitting right there on Wednesday when they told us to take out 
our gas masks because the rioters had breached the Capitol.
  I was standing right over there as the Capitol Police locked and 
barricaded the Chamber doors. I heard what I thought were gunshots as 
the rioters broke the windows in the main Chamber door with a metal 
pipe.
  I was standing right over there when the woman was shot outside the 
Speaker's lobby, and the police radios rang out: ``Shots fired in the 
Capitol. Shots fired in the Capitol. Everyone down.''
  The veneer of civilization is paper-thin.
  Thousands of people, criminals, desecrated our Capitol, breaking 
windows and doors, attacking our brave officers, and vandalizing 
offices. Rioters, wearing Army fatigues with Confederate and Trump 
flags, donned Nazi swastikas. That and I saw one man who wore a shirt 
saying: ``Camp Auschwitz Staff.''
  Our President instigated this. The President's duty is to protect our 
Republic and its people. He built a mob, filled it with lies, and 
encouraged its fight to stop the steal. Now, we hear intelligence 
reports that thousands of armed militias and white supremacists are 
planning to come again on or before January 20.
  My colleagues, my friends on the other side of the aisle, we must 
together call upon the President to denounce this violence, to tell his 
supporters to stay home.
  Mr. President, you must please put America first. You must call off 
this attack. And if not, you must be removed.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to refrain from 
engaging in personalities toward the President.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Reschenthaler), who is the newest Republican member 
of the Rules Committee.
  Mr. RESCHENTHALER. Mr. Speaker, let me be clear about something. The 
violence and the rioting in our Capitol last Wednesday was tragic. It 
was undemocratic, and it was unacceptable. I unequivocally condemn this 
criminal behavior that occurred in this building.
  Our great Nation is deeply divided. Unfortunately, rather than 
looking forward and working together on issues that actually unite our 
country, we are here debating a partisan issue, a partisan resolution 
that will only further divide us.
  The Constitution is very clear on the issue we are debating. The 
ability to activate section 4 of the 25th Amendment lies with the Vice 
President and Cabinet members, Cabinet members who are vetted and 
confirmed by the Senate.
  Congress is only drawn in, House Members are only drawn in, when the 
President disputes a declaration of incapacitation. That is not what is 
happening here. We should respect that constitutional prerogative.
  Mr. Speaker, I am also perplexed by my Democrat colleagues' attempt 
to force the hand of a man that they clearly had faith in to run our 
country. They must recognize that by calling for the President's 
immediate resignation, they are also advocating for Vice President Mike 
Pence to lead our Nation. Therefore, they should have full trust in 
Vice President Pence's decision-making ability to act in a manner 
consistent with his constitutional responsibilities, just as he did 
last week.
  Further, I am incredibly and deeply disappointed that the rule before 
us suspends prohibitions on engaging in personalities against the 
President. It is somewhat ironic. If we are truly worried about 
rhetoric, then we must set an example and ensure that civility and 
decorum remain an essential part of the American discourse.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 30 seconds to the 
gentleman.
  Mr. RESCHENTHALER. Mr. Speaker, we must set an example and ensure 
that civility and decorum remain an essential part of the American 
discourse.
  Ms. SCANLON. Just to clarify, this provision about suspending the 
rule about personalities is so that we can have a full and frank 
discussion of just why the request is being made to invoke the 25th 
Amendment and just why this President should be impeached. It would be 
difficult, if not impossible, to describe the high crimes and 
misdemeanors and other misconduct which forms the basis of those 
requests if that rule were not suspended.
  As I mentioned in my opening, we don't view this as a partisan 
resolution. We have Members from all sides of the political spectrum 
now calling for the removal of this President. Members might want to 
check their news feed to see the growing list of civic, business, and 
religious leaders from across the country who have said: Enough is 
enough. This President is a clear and present danger.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I would disagree somewhat with my good friend from Pennsylvania. I 
have had the privilege of being in this body for many years, and I have 
never seen what we see in sections 2 and 3 of this rule, the suspension 
of appropriate language.
  I understand the difficulties of dealing with this issue and respect 
that. However, at a time when the rhetoric has been over the top, I 
think we should set a high example. We have never done this before in 
my time here. We didn't do it in previous impeachments.

                              {time}  1900

  The need to do it now is lost on me, Mr. Speaker.
  Again, I have great confidence in my friend. I have great confidence 
in my friends on the Rules Committee.

[[Page H131]]

  So, the rule is the rule. This will almost certainly pass. I would 
just hope that everybody acts as good as they can. I mean, I hate to 
put it that simply, but this is an important issue.
  I respect all the Members of this body. I know they have very 
different points of view on this. That is to be expected.
  Generally, our debates are professional. Generally, that standard is 
something we are proud of and something that we aspire to. I hate to 
see it ever lowered or any exception provided.
  I also have great confidence in the Speaker's Chair, and I know that 
they will enforce the appropriate level of civility and decency on the 
floor.
  But, Mr. Speaker, I just ask my fellow Members to please, please 
think about this, because we have taken a very important safeguard off 
the rails of debate, so to speak.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. 
Jordan), my very good friend, the distinguished Republican ranking 
member of the Judiciary Committee.
  Mr. JORDAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. 
Cole) for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, this is scary. This is frightening, what is happening.
  With less than 1 hour of debate, the Democrats bring a rule to the 
floor that says this: You can say anything you want about the President 
of the United States of America, no rules of decorum about what you say 
about the leader of our country.
  In that rule, they say: If you don't wear a mask, you could get 
fined, no regard to whether you have already had COVID, whether you 
have had the vaccination. Your mask slips down a little bit, you get 
fined, in a rule with no debate?
  In this rule, they say: To walk on the House floor, you have to go 
through a metal detector, a Member of the United States Congress 
walking on the floor to represent three quarters of a million people in 
our district?
  And fourth, the rule is for the bill that says we should tell the 
Vice President of the United States to work to remove the President of 
the United States.
  I have been here 14 years. I have never seen anything like this. And 
I do not know where this ends. I do not know where it ends, but it is 
dangerous where they are taking us.
  You couple this with what we are seeing with the cancel culture mob 
out there, I do not know where this takes us.
  I fear for the First Amendment. I fear for the Second Amendment. I 
fear for the Bill of Rights. I fear for the Constitution.
  Mr. Speaker, I do not know where this takes us, but it is scary what 
they are throwing in a bill that we are going to debate for less than 
an hour, making these kinds of changes. I hope they reconsider.
  Ms. SCANLON. Mr. Speaker, I am prepared to close. I would inquire if 
the gentleman has any more speakers.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, in closing, I want to urge all of my colleagues to vote 
``no'' on this resolution.
  The resolution asks this House to substitute its judgment for the 
Vice President's in making the grave decision to initiate procedures 
under section 4 of the 25th Amendment. Under the Constitution, this is 
a role that belongs exclusively to the Vice President and the Cabinet, 
not to the House of Representatives. Attempting to usurp this 
responsibility is not supported by the Constitution and would be a 
historic overreach.
  Members should also take assurance from the Vice President's strong 
record of sound judgment. Rather than pressuring him into acting, we 
should be reassured by the knowledge that he would act on this topic as 
he does on all others in performing his duty, in a manner befitting his 
constitutional role as Vice President of the United States.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on the previous 
question and ``no'' on the rule, and I yield back the balance of my 
time.
  Ms. SCANLON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, after the chaos and potentially--well, definitely 
criminal behavior that we saw here last week, there is no trust left 
between this administration and the majority of the American people.
  The stability of our executive branch is a foundational piece of our 
democracy. This administration has failed or refused to uphold the most 
basic duties of protecting our Constitution and our national security 
or of respecting the coequal branches of our government.
  Wednesday's bloody attack proved that this administration is an 
imminent and continuing danger to our country even in the waning days 
of this Presidency.
  I am heartbroken for our country but more determined than ever to 
fight to preserve our democracy.
  Mr. Speaker, I call on Vice President Pence and the Cabinet to do the 
right thing. I call upon our colleagues to do the right thing: to put 
our country before the interests of any one man and to join us in 
ending this failed Presidency.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge all of my colleagues to support the rule and the 
underlying legislation.
  The material previously referred to by Mr. Cole is as follows:

                    Amendment to House Resolution 38

       At the end of the resolution, add the following:
       Sec. 5. Immediately upon adoption of this resolution, the 
     House shall proceed to the consideration in the House of the 
     bill (H.R. 275) to establish the National Commission on the 
     Domestic Terrorist Attack Upon the United States Capitol. All 
     points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. 
     The bill shall be considered as read. All points of order 
     against provisions in the bill are waived. The previous 
     question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and on 
     any amendment thereto to final passage without intervening 
     motion except: (1) one hour of debate equally divided and 
     controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the 
     Committee on Homeland Security; and (2) one motion to 
     recommit.
       Sec. 6. Clause 1(c) of rule XIX shall not apply to the 
     consideration of H.R. 275.
  Ms. SCANLON. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time, and I 
move the previous question on the resolution.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on ordering the previous 
question.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to section 3(s) of House Resolution 
8, the yeas and nays are ordered.
  Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further proceedings on this question 
are postponed.

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