Seven Republican legislators sponsored a resolution Monday which would formally begin the process of investigating whether impeaching Republican governor Chris Sununu is warranted. These conservative State Representatives feel that they have exhausted all other measures with which to rein in the Governor’s increasingly authoritarian actions.
Last month, Sununu circumvented the legislative process and declared that restaurants must record names and phone numbers of their patrons in order to implement a ‘contact tracing’ program.
Last Thursday, Sununu declared yet another ‘emergency order’, bypassing the legislative process in order to mandate the statewide wearing of masks both indoors and outdoors.
The impeachment resolution comes one day after The Liberty Block published an article condemning the State Legislature for being impotent and neglecting to stop the Governor from violating the citizens of New Hampshire without due process or legislation.
Along with Rep. Andrew Prout (R-Hudson), Melissa Blasek (R-Merrimack,) David Binford (R-Bath,) Mike Sylvia (R-Belmont,) Scott Wallace (R-Danville,) Josh Yokela (R-Fremont,) and Kevin Verville (R-Deerfield.) sponsored the LSR.
“If passed, the resolution directs the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether grounds exist and report any resolutions or articles of impeachment to the House of Representatives. It grants subpoena and investigative powers to the committee, as well.”, writes Chris Maidment for the NH Journal.
The resolution would need a majority to pass the House and two thirds of the Senate would be required to convict and remove Sununu.
UPDATE: NHGOP Chairman Stephen Stepanek and NHGOP Vice-Chair Pamela Tucker released the following joint statement condemning State Representatives’ investigation request:
“Granite Staters elected Republican majorities to our state government in order to cut taxes, expand educational opportunity, and control spending. New Hampshire overwhelmingly approves of the job Governor Chris Sununu has done in mitigating the effects of COVID-19. The NHGOP has always and will continue to stand with Governor Sununu and his team as he fights for Granite Staters during this global pandemic. Talk of impeachment is a severe obfuscation of the reasons Granite Staters elected Republicans on November 3rd and these House members seeking headlines will look foolish when this effort falls flat before it even gets off the ground.”
The Liberty Block reiterates that it is not the handling by the Governor of Covid-19 that is the issue. The issue in NH and many other States is the Governors’ ignoring the only branch of government that has the authority to enact legislation, far past the time when Covid-19 can be considered an emergency. There is absolutely no reason that an elected body of Representatives should continue to be bypassed. If Stepanek and Tucker are correct, it would take a matter of hours for the Legislature to pass the same laws that are being imposed unilaterally by the Governor. We urge both Stepanek and Tucker to clarify where in the NH Constitution legislative powers are reserved to a Governor in cases of a long-term pandemic. Until then, we read the Constitution per its plain meaning. The legislature legislates and the Governor executes.
We are also assuming that since the Republicans were elected to “cut taxes, expand educational opportunity, and control spending”, most of the NH House’s 20-plus standing committees will be eliminated, as they have little to do with the above three issues. We await Stepanek’s decision and will report further updates.