WASHINGTON (KMTV) — Members of the House of Representatives from Nebraska and Iowa are weighing in as President Donald Trump was impeached for the second time.
The final vote in the House was 232 in favor of impeachment with 197 opposed. Four members didn't vote. Trump is the first president to be impeached more than once.
Of the seven combined House members from Iowa and Nebraska, only Iowa Democrat Cindy Axne voted in favor of impeaching Trump.
Reps. Don Bacon, Jeff Fortenberry, Adrian Smith, Ashley Hinson, Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Randy Feenstra all opposed impeachment. All six are Republicans.
The impeachment proceedings came a week after pro-Trump riots broke out at the U.S. Capitol building as lawmakers were meeting to certify electoral votes. At least five people lost their lives during the ordeal. The House charged Trump with "incitement of insurrection" for his role in the incident.
Bacon said the decision to impeach Trump a week prior to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden will only further divide the country.
"The decision by the Speaker to impeach a week prior to the inauguration will only exacerbate the divide we have and further inflame the passions," Bacon said in a statement. “Further, this impeachment was done without a single hearing, which is not the due process we honor in our country."
Fortenberry said impeaching Trump would “deepen the trauma of an America already wracked by political violence” and that the objective should be restoring peace.
“In just seven days, Joe Biden will be President. I voted to certify his election. In order to begin the process of healing our nation after this traumatic moment, we must choose wisely," Fortenberry said in a statement. "If we use the blunt instrument of impeachment, we will punish the President but deepen the trauma of an America already wracked by political violence. The call for accountability ought now to be found in the hard slog to rebuild.”
Axne pulled no punches, saying what happened at the Capitol was too hard to ignore regardless of how little time is left in Trump's term.
"One week ago, the dangerous and deceitful rhetoric disseminated by President Trump incited an insurrection that led to the deaths of five Americans – including one Capitol Police officer," Axne said in released remarks. "For months, the President had used the power and pulpit of his office to spread lies about the legitimacy and security of our elections.”
She added, "For the safety of our nation and its citizens, President Trump must be removed from office.”
Smith said he was "appalled" by last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol but was concerned about the precedent impeachment would set.
"The events of last Wednesday were nothing short of horrific. I am appalled at what I saw last week and fully support the prosecution of every participant and planner of the insurrection," Smith said in a statement. “Snap impeachment, however, without a complete investigation sets a dangerous precedent. This vote may feel politically expedient to Democrats, but this is not the correct way to address the violence nor will it bring our country together.”
Hinson said she had a few reasons for voting against impeachment.
“Impeachment is the wrong path forward for several reasons. Speaker Pelosi is bypassing regular order - including the process of collecting evidence, conducting committee hearings, and having preliminary votes - to rush toward a second impeachment of President Trump,” she said in a statement. “Just a week out from a new Administration, impeachment will only serve to feed the flames and further divide our nation."
Miller-Meeks also said impeaching Trump so late in his term would only further divide the country and she wanted to focus on other matters for Iowans.
“The people of Iowa sent me to Congress to work on health care reform, lower the cost of prescription drugs, and get Iowans safely back to work. That will be my focus," she said in a statement.
Feenstra also echoed the sentiment about the country needing to come together instead of growing farther apart.
“It is time for our country to come together and move forward -- not to pursue divisive and rushed political exercises,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate process on the impeachment "will now begin at our first regular meeting following receipt of the article from the House." The Senate is not expected to be back in session until January 19, a day before Trump leaves office.