Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says the House impeachment inquiry will likely mean that action on other important bills, including the budget, will be delayed.
Collins says it’s likely that the impeachment process will affect the timing of business before the Senate.
“Although the House is still gathering information and evidence and has a long way to go, my prediction is that articles of impeachment will come before the Senate,” she says.
Collins says when she was a freshmen senator, the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton preempted every other issue before Congress until the Senate trial was over.
“I remember from my time as a new senator when President Clinton was impeached, how all-consuming that is. You do nothing else until the trial is finished,” she says.
Collins fears action on the federal budget will be delayed, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has set a timeline of an impeachment vote around Thanksgiving, about the same time the continuing resolution keeping the federal government operating runs out. While she hopes budget bills can be approved before the current continuing resolution runs out, she worries there will have to be another continuing resolution to avoid a partial shutdown of the federal government.