Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.
Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.
- "If we can’t get to 67 votes for impeachment, there may be another way to hold President Trump accountable."
Details: The censure resolution will declare that the attack on the Jan. 6 Capitol was an insurrection against the Constitution — an effort to stop Congress from "undertaking its constitutional duty to count electoral votes," according to Kaine.
- It finds that Trump "gave aid and comfort" to the insurrectionists by "repeatedly lying about the election, slandering election officials, pressuring others to come to Washington for a wild event and encouraging them to come up to Congress."
- The language is pulled from Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. If Trump is found to have violated the amendment, he would be barred from ever holding office again.
- "This is an alternative that would impose, in my view, a similar consequence but it does not require a trial and it does not require a two-thirds vote," Kaine added.
The big picture: Collins told reporters on Wednesday, "It seems to me there is benefit in looking at an alternative that might be able to garner bipartisan support."
- The two senators have spoken with roughly 40 colleagues about a censure vote, Kaine said.