Nearly half the House Democrats now support an impeachment inquiry of President Trump—a milestone but still probably not enough to push Speaker Nancy Pelosi to launch proceedings. A tally by the AP on Wednesday showed 114 Democrats in the House, and one Republican-turned independent, are now publicly backing an inquiry, a notable spike in the days since special counsel Robert Mueller testified on Capitol Hill. Some two dozen House Democrats, and two top senators, added their names after Mueller's public appearance last week. The numbers also show the limits. Even with half the Democrats favoring impeachment efforts, it's not seen by leadership as a working majority for quick action.
Pelosi, who needs at least a 218-vote majority to pass most legislation in the House, has been unwilling to move toward impeachment without a groundswell of support—both on and off Capitol Hill. "The dynamics have shifted," says Kevin Mack, the lead strategist at Need to Impeach, a group funded by Tom Steyer, who's now a Democratic presidential contender and stepped down from the organization. "It's time to get it started. It's not enough to keep kicking the can down the road, running out the clock." For Democrats who won control of the House, partly on the promise of providing a checks-and-balance on the Trump administration, the weeks ahead will be pivotal as lawmakers hear from voters during the August recess and attention turns toward the 2020 election.
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