(The Center Square) – South Carolina Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Rice was one of only 10 Republican congressmen who voted Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump.
Trump became the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
Rice voted last to object to the results of the Electoral College. On Wednesday, Rice joined South Carolina’s only Democratic congressman, House Majority Whip James Clyburn, in supporting impeachment for “incitement of insurrection.”
"It has been a week since so many were injured, the United States Capitol was ransacked, and six people were killed, including two police officers," Rice said in a statement after the vote. "Yet, the President has not addressed the nation to ask for calm. He has not visited the injured and grieving. He has not offered condolences. Yesterday in a press briefing at the border, he said his comments were 'perfectly appropriate.' "
"I have backed this President through thick and thin for four years," Rice said. "I campaigned for him and voted for him twice. But, this utter failure is inexcusable."
South Carolina’s five other Republican members of Congress voted against impeachment.
“President Donald Trump has agreed to a peaceful transition of power, and impeaching a president so close to a new administration impedes that process and only serves to further divide our country,” U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson said in a statement.
Freshman Congresswoman Nancy Mace, less than two weeks after being sworn in, made her first House floor speech during the impeachment debate. Mace said Congress should hold Trump accountable for the Capitol attack but a rushed impeachment was not the proper way to do so.
“What we're doing today ... poses great questions about the constitutionality of this process,” Mace said. “I believe we need to hold the president accountable. I hold him accountable for the events that transpired for the attack on our Capitol last Wednesday. I also believe that we need to hold accountable every single person, even members of Congress, for the violence that transpired here.”