The House tossed aside an attempt by Rep. Al Green on Wednesday to bring articles of impeachment against President Trump.
Many Democrats joined the Republican majority in voting, 364-58, to table the resolution from Mr. Green, Texas Democrat, after Democratic leaders said Mr. Trump's actions may be upsetting to the party, but that talk of impeachment was premature.
"Legitimate questions have been raised about his fitness to lead this nation. Right now, Congressional committees continue to be deeply engaged in investigations into the President's actions both before and after his inauguration," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said in a joint statement. "The special counsel's investigation is moving forward as well, and those inquiries should be allowed to continue. Now is not the time to consider articles of impeachment."
They said right now, Democrats should let special counsel Robert Mueller investigate allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and focus instead on fighting the GOP's tax bill and promoting jobs ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections.
Yet 58 Democrats voted to advance the impeachment bid, and four more voted "present."
Mr. Green is among a handful of liberal members pushing to oust Mr. Trump now, even though Democrats do not control either chamber.
The congressman argued Mr. Trump is inciting hatred and bigotry and is dividing Americans based on race and other traits.
His articles cite, among other things, Mr. Trump's response to the white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the push to ban transgender people from the military.
"I love my country," Mr. Green wrote in a letter to colleagues on Tuesday. "For this reason, I will bring articles of impeachment to a vote in the House of Representatives."
He brought a privileged motion to force the issue on the floor, though leaders moved to table it.
Lawmakers voted on the motion to table, and not impeachment itself. Still, the vote forced Democrats to put themselves on the record regarding the thorny prospect of impeachment.
For his part, Mr. Green insists there is no downside to his push.
"I will vote yes for impeachment," he told colleagues, "or any procedural vote that would lead to a vote on impeachment, knowing that history will be my final judge and vindication my eternal reward."