BLOOMINGTON — Two Central Illinois congressmen said their constituents want Congress to accomplish things for their constituents rather than focus on an impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump.
U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis of Taylorville and Darin LaHood of Dunlap, both Republicans, spoke after the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient medical clinic in Bloomington.
"Most of my constituents, I think, are very concerned about going down the path of impeachment," said LaHood, whose father, former congressman Ray LaHood, oversaw the 1998 House debate on impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton. "Impeachment is going to paralyze this country and it will stop us from getting work done."
"The people that I talk to want us to work on important things like the infrastructure bill, the high cost of prescription drugs ... and fighting the opioid epidemic," the younger LaHood said.
Davis said, "What I'm hearing from constituents is they are thankful and glad that we are getting things done like the funding for this VA clinic. Most people are tuning out the screaming and the 24-hour news cycle."
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"I'm glad we're getting to the public stage," Davis said. "I think all transcripts should be released. I don't think transcripts should be selectively released from the most secretive place we have in the House of Representatives."
Davis said House Democrats are creating a precedent rather than using the process already in place. "That's not the way the American people need to see such a harsh constitutional process like impeachment moving forward," he said. "It's going to set a standard that politics will be used in the impeachment process and I think that's a tragedy for future generations in this great country."
LaHood, a former federal prosecutor, said he had not seen information that supports impeachment. He said he could favor impeachment "when I see treasonous activity and criminal statues being violated. I have seen nothing thus far in the transcript and in the whistle blower's report ... that is the predicate for a criminal violation. There was no quid pro quo there."
"We are going to have an election in less than a year from right now," LaHood said. "Why let 535 members of Congress decide this when the American people are going to have a say? ... It (impeachment) should be a nuclear option and, again, most people in my district want us to move on and govern."