Sage Kiernan-Sherrow | News Editor
Although most of Western’s students probably know by now that the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump on Dec. 18 for abuse of power and obstruction of congress, some may be wondering how Oregon’s representatives contributed to that decision, as well as how students may be affected going forward.
Oregon currently has five representatives in the House: Representatives Suzanne Bonamici, Greg Walden, Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader, respectively. Of those five, four are alligned with the Democratic Party and one is alligned with the Republican Party. During voting, all four Democratic representatives voted for both articles of impeachment, while Republican Representative Walden, voted against. Their votes combined with the remainder of the House, resulted in 230 votes for impeachment regarding the article for abuse of power, 197 against, and four abstaining from voting; for the article referrng to obstruction of congress, 229 members voted for impeachment, 198 voted against, and four abstained.
While the majority voted for President Trump’s impeachment, the margin was narrow, and now the Senate must hold a trial to convict the president in order to remove him from office. Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are both registered Democrats, but the Senate’s 100 members are still overwhelmingly Republican, and according to The New York Times, at least 20 Republican votes would have to sway in order to gain the two-thirds majority required to officially remove President Trump from office. And while President Trump may have made history as only the third president to be impeached by the House of Representatives, no president has ever been impeached by the Senate — although Nixon stepped down beforehand.
While President Trump awaits trial, he has continued to be active on Twitter and also authorized an airstrike, killing Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani and igniting fears of war. Students might be particularly worried because of misinformation revolving around the draft and its link to FAFSA. However, FAFSA only provides a way to register for the draft if one hasn’t already done so after they turned 18; the draft is not currently active.
Despite the misunderstanding, it is an indicator that while the country is waiting for the Senate to begin the trial, questions about the impeachment process have sparked people to become more politically aware — particularly young people. Students at Western and across the nation will have a major role to play in the upcoming 2020 election; whether President Trump is removed from office or not, the country is watching.
Updated on Jan. 16, 2020
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