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House progressive caucus urges members to back impeachment inquiry

House progressive caucus urges members to back impeachment inquiry

Mark Pocan and Pramila Jayapal

Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs Rep. Mark Pocan (left) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Tuesday began urging their members as a whole to formally back an impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump, a move that could deliver a boost to the party’s growing pro-impeachment wing.

The progressive caucus would become the first faction in the House to take an official position. While a majority of the roughly 100-person caucus already publicly supports impeachment, it would serve to solidify the progressive wing’s support for aggressive action against Trump at a critical point for the Democratic caucus.

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Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis) made the motion to formally support the impeachment investigation in a closed-door meeting on Tuesday, just days ahead of the House Judiciary Committee’s vote formally define the panel’s powers in its impeachment probe.

Still, the caucus’s formal position is not binding. While it may put the spotlight on several high-profile hold outs on impeachment — including House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries and Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Karen Bass, it may not spur more members to declare their support publicly.

And it does not guarantee that every member would vote that way on the floor. The CPC has a sprawling membership with lawmakers whose positions sometimes clash with the overall philosophy of the caucus, which does not always vote as a bloc on issues.

The caucus’s full membership now has until Tuesday afternoon to decide whether they support taking a position. But people familiar with the process said Tuesday they expected the position to be adopted.

“It is impossible to ignore the mounting evidence that President Trump has repeatedly broken the law, committed impeachable offenses, and continues to obstruct justice,” according to the proposed statement, which was obtained by POLITICO. “The Congressional Progressive Caucus strongly endorses the House Judiciary Committee’s current formal impeachment investigation and the adoption of the Resolution of Investigative Procedures.”

Our duty is to uphold the Constitution and we must do all we can to protect our democracy,” the statement continues.

Roughly two-dozen members of the CPC have not come out in favor of the impeachment probe, including closely watched members like House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijiah Cummings (D-Md.) and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).

Kyle Cheney and Heather Caygle contributed.

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