President Trump was impeached for a second time on Wednesday with the help of 10 House Republicans, while 197 other Republicans voted against impeaching him for “incitement of insurrection.”
But another four House Republicans did not vote at all: Texas Rep. Kay Granger, Maryland Rep. Andy Harris, North Carolina Rep. Greg Murphy, and Florida Rep. Daniel Webster. Three of them have said they opposed impeachment despite not being in Washington, D.C., to cast a vote.
House rules adopted due to the coronavirus pandemic allow for present members to vote by proxy for those absent, and while some Republicans took advantage of that on Wednesday to cast votes against impeachment, the practice has been criticized and opposed by many GOP lawmakers.
Granger, the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, tested positive for the coronavirus last week and “immediately quarantined.” Her office did not immediately respond for clarification on why she did not vote one way or the other on impeachment.
Harris, Murphy, and Webster indicated in statements that had they been present, they would have voted against impeachment.
“Due to family medical obligations, I am unable to travel to D.C. for tonight and tomorrow’s votes. Given we are nearly a week from Inauguration Day, it will be nigh impossible for Congress to follow the impeachment trial process as outlined in the Constitution by January 20th and the process will further divide our country. America is hurting and upset. Now is not the time to throw more fuel on a fire,” Webster said in a statement released Tuesday.
Murphy was unable to travel to Washington due to caring for his wife, who recently had back surgery. In a Wednesday statement, Murphy said: “Impeaching President Trump a week before his term ends unnecessarily pours salt in our nation’s deep wounds. The President has committed to a smooth transfer of power. We should let that happen and work on uniting the country rather than dividing it further.”
In a tweet on Wednesday, Harris, who is a physician, said that he “certainly would have voted against impeachment” but that his “constituents were better served by my work in the operating room today than by taking part in this pointless exercise.”