House in second day of expulsion hearing

Posted at 9:34 AM, Sep 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-11 09:34:10-04

Michigan Rep. Todd Courser will keep his job in the House of Representatives after a vote to expel him failed. 67 members voted to expel them, just six short of the 73 needed.

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The vote to expel Courser began at 4:36 p.m., and continued for nearly two hours. 28 representatives did not vote.

This was the initial vote, as house members passed a motion to reconsider. That voting continued until just before midnight, when the house adjourned for three minutes. 

The house then began the September 11 session at 12:01 a.m. Since that session began, they have taken a roll call attendance and the Democrats called a caucus shortly before 2:00 a.m.

The request for expulsion came from a special committee that reviewed a report investigating the pair's conduct in while in office.

The special committee's chairman, Rep. Ed McBroom, moved to expel both saying this has brought disruption to the entire House.  He said it has been discussed on national talk shows, sports shows and comedy shows.

"They've obliterated our trust," said McBroom on the House floor.

Rep. Sam Singh, the minority floor leader and a Democrat from East Lansing talked about how they have the opportunity to nullify the vote of the people in the representative's districts. He also mentioned how a vote for expulsion has only happened three times before.

Most of the Democrats that spoke during the house session were against the idea to expel both Courser and Gamrat.

McBroom spoke again later in the session, reiterating that there was no deal about a censure for Rep. Gamrat. Earlier on Thursday, Gamrat said she came to a deal for censure instead of expulsion.

Michigan House Speaker Kevin Cotter, a Republican from the state's 99th district, spoke to "discredit" red herrings that he said were brought up during the process.

Rep. Tim Greimel, the House Democratic Leader issued this statement:

“My fellow Democrats are simply asking for a full, accountable and transparent investigation before we take an action that has only occurred a few times in the history of this state. We believe it is not too much to ask for the select committee to exercise due diligence, follow due process and have a complete picture of what happened, and who knew about it and when, before taking such an extreme step as expulsion. The actions of the two representatives were indeed egregious, and removing them from office may be warranted. However, the purpose of the investigation, and whatever action the committee deemed appropriate, was supposed to restore the faith and trust of the public to this body. When the committee members struck relevant testimony from the record, disallowed the subpoena of material witnesses and refused to initiate an independent investigation, they are leaving questions unanswered raising doubt in the outcome. We cannot vote for expulsion until we have a full picture of the issue at hand.”