Byrne: Holding their feet to the fire
With her announcement that the House will finally move toward impeachment, Nancy Pelosi has set in motion what the Democrats have wanted to do since election night of 2016.
They will seek to remove President Trump at all costs.
It is frustrating for me that Washington is focused on these partisan impeachment proceedings when there is so much we could get done for the American people. For example, the president’s trade deal has bipartisan support but has not moved forward in the House.
Of course, the border security crisis continues as well. Last week, I participated in the Federation for American Immigration Reform’s (FAIR) “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row. Radio hosts from all over the country, including several from Alabama, assembled in our nation’s capital to discuss the urgency of solving the border crisis and fixing our immigration system.
This should be a priority for Congress. Instead, Democrats are offering plans to cater to their base that make things worse.
Democrats brought a bill to the House floor last week that would create a new government agency to provide vast new services to illegal immigrants. Common sense suggests we should end policies that drive illegal immigration, but what could encourage illegal immigration more than the promise of millions of additional dollars from American taxpayers?
Unfortunately, there is no appetite in the House for solving real problems like border security. And while we are distracted by impeachment, little else will get done either.
This entire charade is politically orchestrated theater. Looking at statements made by Democrats during the Bill Clinton impeachment in 1998 reveals the hypocrisy of the Democrat impeachment fantasy.
Back then, Nancy Pelosi said on the House floor “we are bringing dishonor to it with our hypocrisy here in this chamber. Today, the Republican majority is not judging our president with fairness, but impeaching him with a vengeance. … We are here today because the Republicans in the House are paralyzed with hatred of President Clinton; and until the Republicans free themselves of this hatred, our country will suffer.”
Is there any doubt that the current impeachment efforts are driven entirely by hatred of Donald Trump and his policies? There is a clear double standard!
Jerry Nadler, who as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee has been one of the fiercest proponents of impeaching President Trump, said in 1998 that “there must never be a narrowly voted impeachment or an impeachment supported by one of our major political parties and opposed by the other.”
Those comments from two decades ago should destroy any fabrications that today’s partisan impeachment probe is driven by principles.
Maxine Waters, who famously encouraged Democrats to publicly confront and harass Trump officials, said in 1998, “I am greatly disappointed in the raw, unmasked, unbridled hatred and meanness that drives this impeachment coup-d’etat, the unapologetic disregard for the voice of the people.” Her colleague Sheila Jackson Lee said after the impeachment vote that “we leave here today void and empty because our president will have been toppled against the will of the people of the United States.” Rosa DeLauro, a close Pelosi ally, said impeachment “is wrong and it is unfair. It denies the American people their right to representative democracy.”
Clearly what’s good for the goose is not good for the gander. These representatives seem to think that the will of the voters should be honored, but only when those voters select Democrat candidates.
Those of us who remember the Clinton impeachment battle know that impeachment sucks all the air out of the room. Everything else in Washington will stop. The American people deserve better.
Democrats will continue to be distracted by their impeachment fantasy, but I will continue fighting to hold their feet to the fire.
U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne is a Republican from Fairhope. He is a 2020 candidate for the U.S. Senate.