- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 13, 2019

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Sunday said it wouldn’t bother him if the full House took a vote on Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Trump but suggested that it wasn’t necessary at this point.

“Doesn’t bother me to vote,” Rep. Eliot Engel, New York Democrat, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “But, you know, the Republicans would rather talk about anything else than about what’s really happened. So, they throw this out that there should be a vote.”

“If we had a vote on that, they’d come up with six other things, there needs to be a vote,” Mr. Engel said. “I think there needs to be an impeachment inquiry and we should stop the delaying tactics of the Republicans.”

He said the House can go on the record “by actually having impeachment hearings.”

“I don’t know that we need another step to kind of push it further back,” he said.

Mr. Engel, along with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Overight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, is helping lead House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into the president.

Rep. Jim Himes, Connecticut Democrat, said Sunday that he would be OK with seeing a formal vote.

“Look, my own opinion is we ought to just take this off the table because it’s such a non-issue,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” “And there’s no doubt in my mind, that of course, if [Speaker] Nancy Pelosi does that, that she will have the votes and that will pass. But it’s not required.”

Mr. Trump suggested recently that he would consider cooperating with the inquiry if the full House voted and the process was fair.

But Mrs. Pelosi has said such a vote isn’t necessary for the House to continue in its formalized investigation of the president.

House Democrats are probing whether Mr. Trump improperly pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into digging up dirt on former Vice President Joseph R. Biden — a charge Mr. Trump denies.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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