Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) was one of ten House Republicans who voted to impeach President Trump and is now facing massive backlash back home. The article of impeachment charges “incitement of an insurrection” against the president and her conservative base is furious with her. It could very well end her political career.
Herrera Beutler said on the House floor, “My vote to impeach our sitting president is not a fear-based decision. I am not choosing a side; I’m choosing truth.”
CBS Correspondent Rita Braver asked her, “Was this a matter of conscience for you?”
Herrera Beutler answered, “To me, it was an issue of, when I’m a grandma, can I look at this dispassionately and say to myself, ‘I believe in the stance I took’? And I can tell you right now, I know that I will.”
“Do you think you’re gonna lose your seat over this?” Braver asked.
“I don’t know,” Herrera Beutler replied. “I knew that by taking the vote, it would put it all into question.”
There is little question that it will indeed cost Herrera Beutler her seat. “On behalf of our entire membership, the [Clark County Republican Women] Executive Board is unified in condemning your actions to betray a sitting Republican President. And this vote will never be forgotten, as your action is a personal affront to the 70 million-plus Americans who voted for our President,” Clark County Republican Women wrote in a harsh, stinging letter to Herrera Beutler.
“(Herrera Beutler’s vote) directly violates our values of standing for truth and justice, and instead panders to fear-based narratives that do not represent the Clark County Republican Party, nor the constituents who elected her. This shameful behavior will only further divide our country. President Trump’s actual words clearly did not incite violence,” another statement said.
Herrera Beutler represents Washington’s Clark County, near the Washington-Oregon border. It is a conservative stronghold and her impeachment vote was met with great anger.
She was not the only Washington state Republican to vote for impeachment; Rep. Dan Newhouse did as well. His political future may also be in peril now.
Joel Mattila is the chair of Clark County Republicans. He said Herrera Beutler’s vote sparked “anger in the ranks.”
“I can tell you that from old-time party regulars — people that traditionally and typically support Congresswoman Herrera Beutler — all the way down to your average ordinary everyday Republican voter, I can report to you that there is a lot of anger in the ranks because of her impeachment vote,” Mattila said in an interview with The Columbian.
Clark County Republican Women are now moving to back a primary challenge to Herrera Beutler over the impeachment vote.
“If you cast this vote to impeach, you will never receive our support or votes again at any time in the future,” the group promised in their letter to Herrera Beutler. “Additionally, we will do everything in our power as the largest Republican Women’s organization in Washington State to recruit and elect a conservative candidate who will represent our values.”
David Gellatly, head of Activate Republicans Clark County, flatly stated that Herrera Beutler’s seat could be in jeopardy.
“This was probably the one single vote that Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler could make that basically would almost eliminate her chances of making her way through the primary,” he said. “People want somebody else immediately to start stepping up. … There’s a pool of names that are very likely.”
“The counting of electoral votes IS the Constitution in process,” Herrera Beutler wrote on Twitter. “And a ruthless mob (joined by would-be assassins) stopping the counting of electoral votes by force is the epitome of attacking the Constitution.”
“The president either wanted the mob he helped mobilize to take these steps, or he didn’t care enough about his job responsibilities to try to stop them,” she said. “Either way, it’s impeachable.”
The president either wanted the mob he helped mobilize to take these steps, or he didn't care enough about his job responsibilities to try to stop them. Either way, it's impeachable.
— Jaime Herrera Beutler (@HerreraBeutler) January 15, 2021
Her words will go down in history and her political career will most likely go down in flames over this. However, she will not be alone as she exits the political arena.
Freshman Rep. Meijer appeared in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and said his vote may have ended his career as well but he does not regret it.
Rep. Meijer stated, “I may very well have [ended my career], but I think it’s also important that we have elected leaders who are not thinking solely about what’s in their individual self-interest, not what is going to be politically expedient, but what we actually need for our country.”
“It may have been an act of political suicide, but it’s what I felt was necessary for the good of the country, to have accountability in this moment but also to set a path to moving forward,” Meijer told the Free Press on Thursday.
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