The pursuit of a bipartisan effort to censure former President Donald Trump has ended due to lack of support, according to Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.
Kaine and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, drafted a proposal to formally chastise Trump after it became unlikely of gaining a conviction in his second impeachment trial.
Collins was one of five Republican senators who voted not to dismiss the impeachment trial last week. That meant Democrats were 12 votes short of getting a conviction.
Kaine said Tuesday the censure effort did not have enough support from Republicans or Democrats, per Newsweek.
"We don't have enough support on the Republican side because they don't want to bar Trump from running from office," Kaine said.
"I don't have enough support on the Democratic side because for most of my colleagues, it's impeachment or nothing."
Some of Kaine's fellow Democrats indicated they only would consider joining a bipartisan proposal if at least 10 Republican senators publicly supported the motion. That would assure the 60-vote margin required to pass the legislation in the Senate.
"I'm very worried about going through this trial and having the punch line at the end being Trump acquitted again," Kaine said. "That's why we put this alternative on the table. We think it has meaningful consequences, but where it is right now, we're not going to file it until we see a path to success.
"We'll get into the trial. My hope is, maybe Republicans will see some evidence in the trial where they'll say, 'Even if I'm not voting to convict, this is repulsive.' Maybe some Democrats will say, 'Boy, we're not going to get the votes to convict. We need to come up with something else.' So, the idea's on the table."
After last week's vote on a resolution by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Collins said, "I think it's pretty obvious from the vote today, that it is extraordinarily unlikely that the president will be convicted. Just do the math."
The resolution Kaine and Collins were considering would have declared the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol as an insurrection against the Constitution. It would have said Trump "gave aid and comfort" to the rioters 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."
Kaine last week said censuring Trump and finding he violated the 14th Amendment could have barred the former president from 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 said.
Republicans who have claimed the impeachment trial is unconstitutional could not have used that argument regarding a censure.
It also would have been the first time a president had been censured after leaving office.
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