WHAT’S THE PATH FORWARD?
IMPACT OF LAST WEEK. Last week’s attack on the Capitol by a group of pro-Trump rioters will have a lasting impact on Capitol Hill and across the country. The House of Representatives is moving forward with plans to impeach President Trump for the second time for his role in encouraging the violence, the first time a president would be impeached twice. If the House is successful in impeaching the President, the articles of impeachment are then sent to the Senate, which is responsible for holding a trial and ultimately determining whether to remove the President from office or clear him of the charges. However, the House might delay in sending the articles of impeachment to Senate, since the Senate is not back in session until January 19, and a trial could not begin until that date, only one day before the inauguration. Pursuing impeachment backs up against the limited time left in the Trump Administration and could also impact the first 100 days of the Biden Administration. If Capitol Hill is absorbed in impeaching President Trump, there is limited opportunity for Congress to focus on other important items that need to be accomplished in the first 100 days of the Biden Administration. This includes confirming members of President-elect Biden’s cabinet, developing further COVID-19 relief legislation and speeding the vaccination effort.
LARGER IMPACT. It is important to recognize that the riots will affect President-elect Biden’s messaging in his inaugural address. How President-elect Biden delivers a message of unity, accountability and decency next Wednesday will help determine how the nation begins to heal and move forward. Needless to say, President-elect Biden’s most difficult task will be bringing a divided nation together.
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