What did Congress get done while warring over impeachment? You’ll find out this week
“The idea that somehow impeachment is stopping Congress from doing things is a red herring,” said James Wallner, a senior fellow at the conservative and libertarian think tank R Street Institute. “It’s designed to shift or deflect blame to something else for what they haven’t done.”
“The Senate hasn’t done anything and impeachment hasn’t even gotten there,” Wallner said.
If the House votes to impeach, as expected, the Senate must hold a trial, which could take up to two weeks or more in January. But some Republican senators, such as Utah’s Mike Lee, have already been working with White House attorneys preparing Trump’s defense.
But even an impeachment trial doesn’t let the Senate completely off the hook from legislating, Wallner wrote in the blog Legislative Procedure.
“The Senate may adjourn the trial from day to day to consider legislative and executive business,” he wrote. “However, the rules stipulate that the trial will resume every day (Sundays excepted) at 12 p.m., unless otherwise ordered by the Senate, until a final verdict is reached.”
But Wallner doesn’t hold out hope that the Senate will use that time outside of the trial to get much done. He explained that waiting until the final hours to get something done is intentional and routine, and this year they will blame impeachment for the delays.