WASHINGTON — The U.S. House vote Wednesday on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump is expected to break down almost entirely along party lines — and the Philadelphia region is no different.
Every Democrat from the region is expected to support the two charges against Trump, for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, save for Rep. Jeff Van Drew, the South Jerseyan who is about to switch parties and become a Republican. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, the region’s only Republican House member for now, is opposed.
Democrats have been building a case that Trump withheld foreign aid to Ukraine and a White House visit to pressure the country into announcing politically motivated investigations — and then tried to conceal his actions by blocking administration officials from testifying before Congress. Trump has said he acted appropriately and Republicans in Congress have dismissed the impeachment inquiry as a sham.
The Democratic-controlled House is widely expected to impeach Trump on Wednesday, making him only the third president to be impeached. But the Republican-controlled Senate will almost surely acquit him.
Here’s where individual lawmakers from the area stand and what they have said about the articles of impeachment.
Rep. Brendan Boyle. The Philadelphia Democrat tweeted earlier this month, “I strongly support the impeachment of Donald Trump. It is our constitutional duty to do so.”
Rep. Madeleine Dean. The Montgomery County Democrat has already voted to support the two articles in the House Judiciary Committee, of which she is a member. “The evidence shows the president’s wrongdoing," Dean said before a committee vote last week. "He has abused the power of his office as president for personal gain, including his corrupt scheme to win reelection.”
Rep. Dwight Evans. The Philadelphian represents one of the bluest districts in the region and was the first Democrat in the area to back impeachment. “This is a solemn and historic task, necessary for upholding our oath of office and the Constitution," he said in a statement. "Benjamin Franklin said after the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia that we have ‘a republic, if you can keep it.’ House Democrats intend to keep it.”
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick. The Bucks County Republican crosses party lines more than most of his GOP colleagues. But he has stuck with his party on impeachment, blasting Democrats over the process. Fitzpatrick has said he will vote against the articles of impeachment and, while saying Trump showed “poor judgment," argued that any investigation should be handled by law enforcement. But the Justice Department, led by Trump ally Attorney General Bill Barr, has shown no interest in investigating Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine. Fitzpatrick said the Democratic investigation was unfair. “By pursuing an entirely partisan path with an artificial timeline and a predetermined outcome, and with the issue at hand being as serious as the overturning of the results of an election, House leadership has set a very dangerous precedent for our nation, and one which I will not support,” Fitzpatrick said in a statement Tuesday.
Rep. Chrissy Houlahan. The Chester County Democrat long resisted impeachment. But she was one of several swing-district Democrats who broke the dam after the initial revelations of Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. On Monday, she said she would support the articles of impeachment. “After deep reflection, I believe this is the right thing to do for our nation and consistent with my oath of office,” she said.
Rep. Andy Kim. The Burlington County Democrat won a South Jersey district that backed Trump in 2016 and has faced intense pressure from the GOP over his vote. The former national security aide is supporting the impeachment articles, despite warnings of a potential political backlash. His reelection campaign next year was already expected to be one of the toughest in the country. “As someone who swore an oath to the Constitution three times in my life, I will stand up to those that abuse the power entrusted to them by the people regardless if they are Democrats or Republicans,” he said in a statement Monday.
Rep. Donald Norcross. The Camden County Democrat supports both articles of impeachment. “I was one of the earliest people in Congress to back an impeachment inquiry years ago because we must act to defend our democracy,” he said in a statement Sunday.
Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon. The Delaware County Democrat also sits on the House Judiciary Committee and also voted for both articles in the committee last week. “I took an oath to support and defend this Constitution, and to put my country before myself," Scanlon said during the panel’s debate. "Will we accept a president who refuses to do the same?”
Rep. Jeff Van Drew. The South Jersey Democrat was one of only two Democrats to vote against launching the impeachment inquiry, and now has gone a step farther: He is expected to leave the party altogether and become a Republican. Van Drew has said he has not seen enough evidence to warrant a step as divisive as removing the president. “We are going to have the same president, and we’re going to have the same presidential candidate who will be able to say that he was exonerated, so I don’t know how much we really gained from that,” he said in October after voting against opening the inquiry.