Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said that an impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden will only proceed if approved by a full floor vote when lawmakers return to the Capitol after their latest extended vacation.
The top House Republican sought to differentiate himself from his predecessor Rep. Nancy Pelosi (R-Calif.) who acted in a unilateral manner during the two impeachments of former President Donald J. Trump, invoking the American people as cover for his lack of decisive action.
“To open an impeachment inquiry is a serious matter, and House Republicans would not take it lightly or use it for political purposes. The American people deserve to be heard on this matter through their elected representatives,” the speaker told the conservative news outlet Breitbart News.
“That’s why, if we move forward with an impeachment inquiry, it would occur through a vote on the floor of the People’s House and not through a declaration by one person,” he said.
With McCarthy’s proclamation, the possibility of holding the deeply corrupt leader accountable is dependent on him being able to have the leadership skills to pull it off with Republicans only holding a razor-thin majority in the chamber. And unlike Pelosi, he hasn’t demonstrated the ability to exercise lockstep discipline among lawmakers, some of whom are squeamish about such a move in an election cycle.
“There’s no evidence that Joe Biden got money, or that Joe Biden, you know, agreed to do something so that Hunter could get money. There’s just no evidence of that. And they can’t impeach without that evidence. And I don’t I don’t think the evidence exists,” one unnamed GOP lawmaker recently told CNN.
“Leadership recognizes that the entire House Republican conference is not yet sold on the politically risky idea of impeachment,” CNN reported.
“I don’t believe that a vote of the House is required to open an impeachment inquiry,” said Rep Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) who has been critical of Speaker McCarthy.
Conservative Republicans have upped the pressure on McCarthy to deliver, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) who suggested that she will vote to shut down the government if impeachment doesn’t move forward.
“I’ve already decided I will not vote to fund the government unless we have passed an impeachment inquiry on Joe Biden,” the outspoken lawmaker said at a Thursday town hall in her Georgia district.
Tonight, I made an announcement directly to my constituents at my Floyd County Town Hall.
I will not vote to fund the government if Congress doesn’t do this:
– Impeachment Inquiry vote on Joe Biden
– Defund Biden’s weaponization of government
– Eliminate all COVID vaccine and… pic.twitter.com/2WXd4CrV7R
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (@RepMTG) August 31, 2023
“One of the House’s most powerful members, Marjorie Taylor Greene, just admitted that the House Republican impeachment is only a partisan stunt driven by the most extreme, far-right members,” said White House spokesperson Ian Sams.
“If Speaker McCarthy proceeds to an impeachment simply to throw red meat to the right wing, as a condition for or distraction from far-right GOP efforts to shut down the government, it will prove once and for all this is a baseless, politically motivated exercise not rooted in evidence and not about getting to the truth,” Sams added.
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