ELD-Fighting Congressman in Political Peril Over Impeachment Vote

Washington D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on the impeachment of President Donald Trump this week and some Democrats are feeling the heat.

A total of thirty-one House Democrats won congressional districts in 2018 that President Trump carried in 2016, which makes the politics of impeachment potentially perilous for these members.

One such Democratic congressman is Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District (MN-7).

President Trump won MN-7, which is a largely rural district, by a whopping 30 points in 2016.

 

In 2018, Rep. Peterson once again carried the district, but only by about 4 points.

Rep. Peterson first won the seat in 1990 and currently serves as the Ranking Minority Member of the House Committee on Agriculture.

To truckers, Rep. Peterson is best known for his battle against the mandatory use of electronic logging devices (ELDs).

Earlier this year, Rep. Peterson once again introduced legislation that would exempt small carriers (H.R. 1697) and agricultural haulers (H.R. 1698) from the ELD mandate.

“This important legislation will eliminate regulations for small trucking companies and will help reduce unnecessary stops and delays which threaten the agricultural products they help to transport,” Rep. Peterson said at the time. “These bills are a win for small businesses in rural America and our farmers.”


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While neither piece of legislation is likely to gain enough support in this Congress to pass, sources within Rep. Peterson’s office indicate the congressman intends to continue pushing the issue.

However, Rep. Peterson now finds himself in one of the most precarious predicaments of his political career.

On one hand, if he votes “yes” on impeachment, the large majority of his constituents who supported President Trump in 2016 could decide to show him the door in 2020.

 

On the other hand, if he votes “no,” he will likely upset many Democrats in his district and could face a Democratic primary challenger next year.

Rep. Peterson has remained largely quiet on the impeachment issue until last Saturday.

The long-time congressman has made up his mind on the matter, telling local news outlet The Globe he will not be supporting impeachment.

“This is dividing the country for no good reason because [President Trump’s] not going to be thrown out of office,” he said. “Why are we doing this?”

Rep. Peterson made it clear that in his view President Trump “has not committed a crime.”


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Further, he said the “biggest problem” with Democrats’ impeachment push is that they long ago decided they were going to impeach President Trump, “and now they’ve spent a year trying to figure out how they can make a case for it. That’s backwards. I just don’t agree with this.”

Rep. Peterson said he would rather see voters decide on President Trump’s political fate.

“If people don’t like Trump, they can vote against him.”

 

The House is set to vote on two articles of impeachment (Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress) this Wednesday, December 18.

The Democratically-controlled legislative body is expected to approve both articles.

While most political experts expect not a single Republican will vote for impeachment, recent reporting suggests as many as 10 Democrats representing districts President Trump won in 2016 might ultimately choose to vote “no.”

According to a new poll within the trucking community, a strong majority of truckers agree with Rep. Peterson and do not support impeaching and removing President Trump.

As for Congressman Peterson’s political future, if he is defeated in 2020 it would be a major blow in the continued fight against the ELD mandate.

 


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