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Kansas House Delegation Splits Along Party Lines on Trump Impeachment Votes

Congressman Steve Watkins visiting a Douglas County farm earlier this year. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)
Congressman Steve Watkins visiting a Douglas County farm earlier this year. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

Story by Tom Shine of the Kansas News Service

The vote by the Kansas delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives on whether to impeach President Donald Trump split along party lines.

Republicans Roger Marshall, Ron Estes and Steve Watkins all voted no Wednesday night on the two articles of impeachment. Democrat Sharice Davids voted yes.

The split mirrored that of the entire House. In a vote that almost exclusively fell along party lines, House members voted to impeach Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

He is the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.

The case now moves to the Senate, which is expected to vote next month on whether to remove Trump from office. Political experts consider that unlikely.

Members of the Kansas delegation all released statements either just before or after the vote.

Ron Estes, Republican, 4th District

Tonight's impeachment is not about evidence, the rule of law or the Constitution. Instead, the articles of impeachment passed tonight by the U.S. House of Representatives are the culmination of a desire by many House Democrats to impeach President Trump which began the day he was sworn-in. Despite the standards called for by Speaker Pelosi, tonight's impeachment was completely partisan and without compelling evidence.

I voted against impeaching President Trump and will continue standing with the millions of Kansans and Americans who voted for Donald Trump and who are against these reckless articles of impeachment. Speaker Pelosi rightly predicted this would be a divisive maneuver, yet the radical left has pushed it forward. My hope is that once this is over, the House can get back to work for the American people.

Roger Marshall, Republican, 1st District

I will vote no because this President has done nothing wrong. And if my Democrat colleagues were honest, they’d tell us that the only thing President Trump is guilty of is not being Hillary Clinton. The only party guilty of obstruction, abuse of power, or whatever focus group term they are using today, is the party on the other side of this aisle.

It’s past time to be done with this circus, and to get to the work that matters like securing our borders and passing trade deals. I will vote no, and encourage everyone to move on from this disgraceful moment in time, and onto the things that actually matter to the American people.

Steve Watkins, Republican, 2nd District

After three years of obstruction and resistance, Democrats brought forward articles of impeachment that prove once and for all this entire process has been nothing more than desperate political theatre. The American people deserve better. I will be voting no on both articles of impeachment. The facts show President Trump has not committed an impeachable offense.

I was elected to Congress to deliver results for Kansans – not waste their time and tax dollars on a baseless witch hunt designed to delegitimize the 2016 election and divide our nation.

Sharice Davids, Democrat, 3rd District

When I was sworn into office in January to represent our community, I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. It’s a responsibility I take very seriously.

That’s why you deserve to hear directly from me that today, after careful deliberation, I will vote in favor of both articles of impeachment against the president. This is not an action I take lightly. It’s not what I came to Congress to do.

My job is to give Kansans’ a real voice in Washington and to tackle the biggest issues facing our community from the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs to our crumbling infrastructure. I’ve remained focused on these issues throughout my time in office, and I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished so far.

But the evidence uncovered during the House impeachment inquiry is overwhelming. And the facts are uncontested.

President Trump used the office of the presidency to solicit foreign interference in our elections for his own personal, political benefit. His actions endangered our national security, violated his oath of office, and undermined the security of our elections … the very basis of our democracy. It has left me with no other option than to vote in favor of the articles of impeachment.

The Kansas News Service produces essential enterprise reporting, diving deep and connecting the dots in tracking the policies, issues and and events that affect the health of Kansans and their communities. The team is based at KCUR and collaborates with public media stations and other news outlets across Kansas. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to kcur.org. The Kansas News Service is made possible by a group of funding organizations, led by the Kansas Health Foundation. Other founders include United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, Sunflower Foundation, REACH Healthcare Foundation and the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.