In the News – Impeachment Addition

The Latest News The Policy Circle Team is Reading

We’ve gathered articles, videos, and analysis to dive-deeper into timely topics about the policy issues and opportunities that impact us all. Explore below and if you have additional news you think we should share, send us an email.

Impeachment: What it Means and What’s Next

Despite the fact that President Trump will only be in office for one more week, efforts to impeach him for a second time have moved ahead quickly. On Wednesday, The House of Representatives passed a single article of impeachment against Trump, charging him with “incitement of insurrection” in the wake of last week’s events at the U.S. Capitol. President Trump becomes the only President to be impeached twice.

With these articles passing in the House, the impeachment fight will now move to the U.S. Senate for a trial. Here is what we currently know about the process, as well as items we will be watching in the coming weeks:

  • The timeline of a potential Senate trial and the likelihood of conviction are unclear. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said he won’t bring back the Senate from recess before Jan. 19, which could push a trial into the beginning of the Biden administration.
  • Before the trial, Speaker Pelosi must choose “impeachment managers” who will be responsible for prosecuting the case against Trump in the Senate. Once chosen, the House will vote on a resolution formally appointing and authorizing the managers. 
  • Chief Justice John Roberts will preside over the trial. Roberts will be responsible for administering oaths and ruling on procedural matters. All motions, objections, requests, or applications must be addressed to him throughout the trial, though his rulings may be overruled by a simple majority vote. Depending on trial rules, he could also serve as a tie-breaker if a vote is split 50-50.
  • Should the trial move forward, there are three potential outcomes: (1) the Senate will dismiss the articles outright; (2) the Senate will acquit; or (3) the Senate will convict the President. Any Senator may file a motion to dismiss the articles of impeachment, either before or during the trial, needing only a simple majority to succeed. If at the conclusion of the trial, fewer than 67 senators vote in favor of an article of impeachment, the President is acquitted. If 67 or more senators vote in favor of an article, the President is convicted.

What conviction means this time around

The U.S. Constitution says there are two ways to punish an impeached official: removal from office or “disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States. With the trial likely beginning after Trump has already left office, how the Senate focused on the charges included in the article will be worth watching. 

Want to familiarize yourself with the key players and process more? Dive into the resources below, including a helpful primer on the impeachment process.

From last year’s trial, check out our blog post on the process and what’s next.

Other News

Why West Virginia and South Dakota are beating California at the vaccine race

Vaccine distribution continues, and states are taking control of how the vaccines will be rolled out. Two states have vaccinated more residents than any other: South Dakota and West Virginia. Both states have large rural populations, but local flexibility and existing practices have helped streamline vaccinations.

See your state’s distribution plan and if you can register for the vaccine.

Women in the Workforce

According to the December jobs report numbers, women continue to be disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, with 140,000 job losses last month. This means that nearly a million women have left the workforce since March 2020. The hospitality industry, composed of mostly women, has been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic’s lockdowns and business closures.

Big Tech Shutdowns

Last week, Twitter suspended Trump’s account, and Facebook and Instagram followed suit. Apple, Google and Amazon also suspended social media app Parler from their app stores and web-hosting services. Similar blocks are happening ahead of the Ugandan election.

Learn about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and dive into our Digital Landscape Policy Circle Brief for more.

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