U.S. Sen. Mike Braun said Tuesday that Congress should stop fighting over the impeachment of President Donald Trump and start tackling the nation’s troubles.
Today’s Senate impeachment verdict “is basically a foregone conclusion. We turn the page and start looking at the agenda,” Braun, R-Ind., told news media in a conference call.
He identified the country’s “big problems” as health care, infrastructure and climate change.
The Senate is scheduled to vote this afternoon on whether to convict Trump on charges he abused his power by seeking reelection assistance from a foreign government and then obstructing the Democratic House’s investigation of his conduct.
Braun called today’s vote “anticlimactic.” Trump’s removal would require a two-thirds majority vote in a chamber where Republicans hold a 53-47 advantage.
“We’re really not in a lot different place than where we started,” Braun said about the partisan divide on impeachment.
The second-year senator from Jasper, who has been among Trump’s more vocal defenders in the Senate, said he believes the House-approved articles of impeachment and Senate trial “should be instructive” to Trump.
“It would make you take pause whenever you might be, say, pushing the envelope,” he said.
But he said the House Democrats’ case was “ill conceived” and “on a shaky foundation.”
Braun said he expects lawmakers of both parties to “get together and find common ground” and turn their attention to issues he hoped Trump would discuss during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
Congress has been “too timid” about demanding increased transparency and competition among health care providers, Braun said. Republicans have been reluctant to seek remedies for climate change, he said, and both parties have largely ignored the burgeoning national debt.
“When do we start ending trillion-dollar deficits and (stop placing) all this burden on our kids and grandkids? Sooner or later, I hope that comes into the conversation,” Braun said.
“I can’t tell you the number of times I hear people say, ‘Why don’t you just sit down and fix the issues that are important to us, take care of things?’” he said.
“Americans, Hoosiers are starving for common-sense practical solutions, and I feel well equipped for that, that’s why I came here, and I think we’ll find a way to get it done, I really do,” he said.