PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The Pennsylvania Republican Party has voted to rebuke U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, but not censure him, for his vote to convict former President Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial.
Some Republicans are not exactly sure what it all means. Across the nation, Republican senators who voted to convict Trump of inciting the Capitol riot have been censured by their state Republican parties, but not in Pennsylvania.
"The results last night were to rebuke the senator but not to censure him," said Sam DeMarco, chair of the Allegheny County Republican Party, on Tuesday.
By a vote of 128 to 124 with 13 abstentions, Republican leaders opted not to censure Toomey. Some local county chairs, who would not go on camera, were not happy while others said the end result was the same.
In fact, if you check out a dictionary, to rebuke and to censure both mean the same -- "to criticize harshly."
"To me, a rebuke versus a censure is a distinction without a difference. The rebuke, as it was written, is very similar to what Westmoreland County had as our resolution of censure there," Bill Bretz, chair of the Westmoreland County Republican Party, told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.
Bretz, who voted to censure, said technical issues last week delayed a vote, adding to party turmoil.
- Butler County Republican Committee Votes To Censure Sen. Pat Toomey Over Impeachment Vote
- Pennsylvania GOP Sets Meeting To Discuss Censuring Sen. Pat Toomey Over Impeachment Vote
- Several County GOP Committees Vote To Censure Sen. Pat Toomey Over Impeachment Vote
- Western Pa. Republican County Chairs Oppose Sen. Toomey's Vote To Convict Trump But Disagree On Censure Resolutions
"It's been allowed to fester in the media and amongst committee members and even the general public on what we were going to do," said Bretz.
DeMarco, who voted to rebuke but not censure, said the party needed to reach out to Republicans who voted for Biden over Trump.
"I was against censure because I felt it would send the wrong message to people we hope to bring into our tent, by acting like the Democrats and saying if you're not on board 100 percent with everything we believe or think then we want to punish you," said DeMarco.
So is Toomey, now rebuked by his party, welcomed in their counties?
DeMarco: I welcome the senator to visit Allegheny County any time of his choosing.
Bretz: I still consider Pat Toomey to be welcome here in Pennsylvania, in Westmoreland County.
KDKA reached out to Toomey for a reaction to this rebuke from his own party. So far, he has had none publicly.
for more features.