GEARHART — U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici said she would likely vote to impeach President Donald Trump based on the evidence that has emerged so far about his appeals to Ukraine to investigate a political rival.
The U.S. House of Representatives is conducting an impeachment inquiry against the president, who has said Ukraine and China should look into corruption allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
“In the past, I’ve expressed concerns about policy differences with this administration,” Bonamici said at a town hall Monday night at Gearhart Elementary School. “But when we learned the president was compromising our national security and raising national security issues, that’s when I said my constituents and Americans deserve to get the facts.”
Asked afterward by The Astorian whether she would vote to impeach the president, the Oregon Democrat said: “I likely would because what I’ve seen is admission about what the phone call was and the summary of the phone call to me raises serious enough concerns, but we need to wait until the inquiry is finished.”
Bob Shortman, the Clatsop County Republican chairman, was critical of House Democrats. “Right now, this is just a political partisan pact in the House to hinder his reelection campaign,” he said.
At the town hall, Bonamici said impeachment is among the top five issues people are raising with her, along with prescription drug abuse, migrant children being separated from their families, public lands and robocalls.
However, she wanted constituents to know that the impeachment inquiry is not all Congress is doing.
Bonamici said it is important to stay hopeful and engaged. Although she said it has been difficult to get some things done, “we also have to look at where we are getting things done.”
Health care, making college more affordable and addressing climate change are among the congresswoman’s top priorities.
She pointed to the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which would allow Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies over prices for some of the costliest drugs.
She said she also wants to make sure everyone has a career path, whether through college, apprenticeship or a worker training program — a goal reflected in a bipartisan apprenticeship bill she is working on.
Bonamici said she wants to move toward a clean energy economy while also discussing the workforce and jobs.
Clatsop County, as well as other parts of the state, has felt the tension between people who want to preserve or revive jobs in industries such as timber and those who want to transition to a clean energy economy.
Animosity over state House Bill 2020 — a cap and trade measure that failed at the Legislature — is lingering as #Timber Unity protesters ramp up efforts to recall state Rep. Tiffiny Mitchell, D-Astoria, for voting for the bill.
“No one’s interested in putting anyone out of a job. My grandfather was a coal miner. We’re not interested in putting people out of jobs. We’re interested in making sure people are getting good-paying jobs and get the skills to work in renewable energy or other local industries,” Bonamici said.