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Impeachment deposition derails House Oversight hearing

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., talks with reporters after a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus in September. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Members of the House Oversight Subcommittee on the Environment quarreled Tuesday during a chaotic 30-minute delay to a hearing that prevented members from attending an impeachment inquiry deposition.  

The hearing on the administration’s fuel efficiency standards got off track when Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Az., requested a point of order to ask to adjourn the hearing before witnesses could begin their testimony.

The situation intensified when subcommittee Chair Harley Rouda realized that he did not have a staff clerk in the room to administer the surprise roll call vote. It took 25 minutes to get a democratic clerk to the room.  Some Republican members expressed frustration that they would not be able to take part in the closed-door deposition of Army Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman happening at the same time.

[Read more about the Vindman deposition here]

In one instance, Reps. Kelly Armstrong and Jim Jordan pushed back on a line of questioning from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, saying they “can’t be two places at once.” Both blame the Democratic majority for having scheduled committee hearings while impeachment inquiry depositions were taking place.

Thirty minutes after Gosar offered the point of order, the adjournment vote failed and former California Governor Jerry Brown was able to begin his opening statement. Brown dug in at the members who made him wait saying, “impeachment’s important, but the climate is even more important.”

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