Following President Donald Trump’s acquittal in the Senate’s impeachment trial, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) announced a new Constitutional amendment to increase the vote threshold in the House of Representatives for impeachment.
“I’m introducing a constitutional amendment that raises the threshold to approve articles of impeachment in the House to 3/5 Super Majority vote,” Scott wrote on Twitter.
“The partisan charade Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats made of this impeachment process over the last few months shows that the fears of our Founding Fathers were realized,” Scott said in a statement.
“They warned that impeachment could be used as a partisan tool by partisan actors. The Democrats used the impeachment process to hurt President Trump, regardless of the outcome of the Senate trial. It’s a dangerous precedent, and the process has to change.”
After the partisan charade by @SpeakerPelosi & House Dems, I'm introducing a constitutional amendment that raises the threshold to approve articles of impeachment in the House to 3/5 Super Majority vote.— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) February 6, 2020
Our country should never again suffer from a partisan impeachment process. pic.twitter.com/B44WZcB8Pl
Currently, the Constitution requires a simple majority, or 218 votes, but Scott’s new amendment would require a supermajority, or 261 House members, to pass articles of impeachment.
The House voted on December 18 to pass two articles of impeachment against Trump. Both articles were approved mostly along party lines.
Democrats currently hold a 232-seat majority. If such an amendment were ratified, they would need roughly 30 Republicans to join to pass articles of impeachment.
Republicans repeatedly argued that House Democrats’ impeachment effort was driven by “partisan rage,” noting that Democrats control the lower chamber and could advance articles of impeachment without any Republican support.
Scott’s amendment would significantly raise the bar for impeachment and require overwhelming, bipartisan support.
“An act as divisive must have bipartisan backing and overwhelming support. It should be hard — 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 added.
The Constitution already requires similarly high-bar of a two-thirds majority, or 67 senators, to convict and remove a president in an impeachment trial.
Getting such an amendment ratified would be a tall order as it requires three-fourths of the states to ratify any amendment — after the amendment was proposed by either a two-thirds majority in both chambers Congress or a constitutional convention called by two-thirds of the states.