Fresh off the acquittal of President Donald Trump, Florida Sen. Rick Scott says it should be harder to impeach a president. And he has an idea for how.
Scott, one of 51 Republican Senators who voted twice Wednesday against convicting Trump, is proposing a constitutional amendment that would raise the threshold for the House to impeach an elected official. In an op-ed published by USA Today, Scott wrote impeachment should take at least 60 percent of House members.
As it stands, a simple majority is needed in the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach a president.
House Speak Nancy Pelosi’s “impeachment circus has shown that bad-faith partisans will use the impeachment process as a tool to hurt their political opponents, no matter the outcome of the Senate trial,” Scott wrote. “It’s a dangerous precedent. House majorities have no reason to prove — or even attempt to prove — their case if their goal is to simply use impeachment as a political attack against the president.”
About 53 percent of Representatives voted in December to impeach Trump, well below what Scott has proposed. Trump was acquitted in the Senate, where its takes a two-thirds vote to remove an elected official.
Tinkering with the 233-year-old impeachment rules requires a change in the U.S. Constitution, which is not easy to achieve. The constitution was last amended in 1992. Nevertheless, Scott said he would introduce a constitutional amendment on Thursday.
“It should be harder — much harder — for either political party to take the process our Founders created as a last resort against a tyrannical leader and use it instead as a tool for the tyranny of a political majority,” Scott wrote.