With Donald Trump’s Russia scandal exploding and his approval rating reaching humiliating all time lows, it’s forced Republicans in Congress to consider whether they’ll have to cut him loose in order to avoid getting wiped out in the midterm election. If you’re looking for a sign that the GOP is quietly heading in that direction, one need look no further than today’s Russia sanctions vote.
The Senate voted to increase sanctions against Russia in response to its interference in our election, as well as to curtail Donald Trump’s ability to ease Russian sanctions. Moreover, the vote was by an overwhelming 97-to-2 margin, making it a nearly unanimous bipartisan effort, according to a CNBC report (link). So not only are the Republicans joining with the Democrats in taking action against Trump’s beloved Russia, they’re also directly taking power away from Trump. It’s rare for a president to have power taken away legislatively by that president’s same party.
This bill still has to get through the House of Representatives. But considering the overwhelming support it got in the Senate, it seems likely to also pass the House easily. That will put Donald Trump in the uncomfortable position of having to decide whether to veto the bill, which would paint him as being even more in Russia’s pocket. In such case it seems likely that Congress would have enough votes to override his veto.
This also comes as the Senate Judiciary Committee is formally opening a bipartisan investigation into whether Donald Trump obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey (link). As Trump continues to sink, these bipartisan moves are a sign of incrementally increasing willingness on the part of the Republican Congress to stand against him. If this trend continues, impeaching hearings prior to the midterms may not be out of the question.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report