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Politics Democratic congressional leaders shut down talk of censuring Trump

02:25  05 february  2020
02:25  05 february  2020 Source:   cnn.com

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Mr. Trump ’s outburst left Republican congressional leaders in a tricky spot, publicly rejecting a shutdown that their president had promised. “You don’t want to shut down the government, Chuck,” Mr. Trump told his fellow New Yorker, referring to a brief shutdown in January when Democrats

If Congress voted to censure Trump , it would make him only the second president in history to have been so explicitly reprimanded. But by censuring instead of impeaching the president, Democrats could easily turn the political calculus against the GOP.

Nancy Pelosi et al. standing next to a man in a suit and tie: WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 16:  U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) (R) and House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) brief members of the media outside the West Wing of the White House after a meeting with President Donald Trump October 16, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump met with members of Congress to discuss his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and Turkey's ongoing offensive campaign in northern Syria. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)© Alex Wong/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 16: U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) (R) and House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) brief members of the media outside the West Wing of the White House after a meeting with President Donald Trump October 16, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump met with members of Congress to discuss his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and Turkey's ongoing offensive campaign in northern Syria. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer both made clear Tuesday that censuring President Donald Trump, as some prominent Democrats have suggested, is not on the table.

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President Donald Trump 's meeting with Democratic congressional leaders Tuesday exploded into an argument before it really began It's his choice to accept one of those options or shut down the government." Pelosi and Schumer saw it as a victory that Trump admitted he would own a shutdown .

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"We have impeached the President," Pelosi, a California Democrat, said to a group of reporters in advance of the President's State of the Union address. "Our house has spoken."

As she started to make the case that Republican senators -- led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky -- wouldn't go for the option anyway, Schumer finished the thought.

"Mitch McConnell -- we cannot bring it up in the Senate trial," the New York Democrat said. "He has the ability to bring it up afterwards. He won't. But for most of us, and just about all of us, he should be convicted and we don't want a halfway measure."

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President Trump will meet with congressional leaders on Wednesday at the White House, the first time he’s invited Democrats to talk with him face-to-face since he The meeting comes amidst a continuous public back-and-forth between Trump and congressional Democratic leaders , who will

The Democratic leaders , Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, responded to the president’s provocations by pulling out of a But the war of words in public did little to secure the Democratic support that Mr. Trump and Republican leaders will ultimately need.

Schumer continued, "I think the reason McConnell doesn't want to bring it on the floor is our Republican colleagues -- so many of them -- are so afraid of even saying he was wrong that they don't want to have a vote on it."

The response to the censure proposal has been mostly negative -- and from both parties.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a moderate who voted to add witnesses in the impeachment trial, threw cold water on moving forward on censure, saying the House should have started with that.

"I considered censure. If the House had started with a censure resolution, instead of leaping to impeachment and shortcutting the process and skipping over judicial adjudication, it's something I would have looked at," Collins said. "At this point, the fact is the President has been impeached -- and only (the) third president to actually be impeached in history -- both Republican senators such as myself and Democratic senators have criticized his conduct, strikes me as a reprimand."

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There is more than one way to highlight and punish the president’s misconduct. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images. Shortly after the release of the redacted Mueller Report, when Democrats were engaged in a simmering debate on whether to initiate impeachment proceedings against the

Democratic leaders , tamping down talk of a battle for the top two positions if Democrats retake the House majority in On Thursday, Clyburn, who is the assistant Democratic leader , also threw cold water on talk of a rhetoric could make him a formidable attack dog against President Donald Trump .

"Zero," said Republican Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana when asked if there was any appetite for the proposal.

The comments from the top Democrats in Congress follow a proposal from Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate from West Virginia, who floated the idea of censuring Trump for his behavior outlined in the articles of impeachment, the argument being a bipartisan group of senators would be willing to vote for censuring Trump as opposed to removing him from office.

"Censure would allow this body to unite across party lines and as an equal branch of government to formally denounce the President's actions and hold him accountable," Manchin said in a speech from the Senate floor Monday, where he unveiled his resolution text to censure Trump.

Manchin acknowledged to reporters earlier Tuesday that his censure resolution faces slim chances because he would need an agreement from McConnell to get a floor vote, something that likely won't happen.

"That's a shame," he said, adding that he would still "see what the mood is after Wednesday."

Iowa Dems extend deadline for candidates to seek review .
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