The House Rules Committee will meet Tuesday to set the parameters for the House of Representatives' floor debate this week in the lead-up to a vote on impeaching President Donald Trump.
Rep. Jim McGovern of Worcester, chairman of the committee, pointed to the gravity of the task before the House of Representatives and said his goal is to ensure the debate on the House floor reflects this.
"What I want is to see an orderly and respectful debate," McGovern told WGBH Morning Edition Host Joe Mathieu on Tuesday. "This is a historic matter and it deserves not to be turned into a circus."
The Rules Committee meeting comes days after the Judiciary Committee voted to send two articles of impeachment to the full House for a vote. The House is set to debate Wednesday and then hold a vote on whether to approve the articles. The charges — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — are likely to be approved on party lines, which would make Trump the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.
McGovern said his committee will set a time limit for Wednesday's debate and will aim to set up a process that ensures the debate doesn't get derailed or delayed. He added that he also aims to make sure both sides of the aisle are represented in the process, but he has been disappointed by some of his Republican colleagues whom he said have not been taking the impeachment inquiry seriously.
"We need to move forward on this matter," he said. "Every member is going to have to vote their conscience. ... and how people cast their votes really will determine their legacy."
If the House votes to impeach Trump, the process would then move to the Senate for a trial. Two-thirds of the Senate would have to vote in favor of impeachment in order for Trump to be removed from office.
McGovern has served in the U.S. House since 1997 and became chairman of the House Rules Committee in 2019.