House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is grappling with a few reluctant moderate Republicans as he considers pushing for an impeachment inquiry against President Biden.
McCarthy has vowed to hold a floor vote if he decides to plow ahead with an inquiry into the Biden family’s overseas business dealings — and can likely only afford to lose four Republican ayes.
“For me, with respect to impeachment, we’re not there yet,” Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY) told CNN in an interview last month that aired again Sunday. “It is not about focusing on the impeachment, it is a question of, do the facts and evidence warrant any further action.”
Lawler had one of the narrowest congressional election victories in the 2022 cycle and is facing a competitive reelection in 2024.
He does not appear to be alone.
“I think before we move on to [an] impeachment inquiry … there should be a direct link to the president in some evidence,” Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) said in a recent interview with The Hill. “I think we need to have more concrete evidence to go down that path.”
An unnamed Republican lawmaker, referring to House members pushing for the inquiry, told Fox News last week, “I don’t think they have the votes to get it,” ‘
Speaker McCarthy on Friday said he’d have a vote to formally open an impeachment inquiry on Biden.
But a number of swing-district Republicans aren’t ready to support it.
“We’re not there yet,” Mike Lawler said.
He can only lose four GOP votes.
More from today’s @insidepolitics
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) September 3, 2023
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy needled the press corps before Congress broke for recess for underestimating him.
AFP via Getty Images
So far, it remains unclear exactly how many holdouts there are on an impeachment inquiry, which is a distinct process from formally impeaching a president.
Republicans who vote against an inquiry will contend with the politically uncomfortable position of having to defend Biden.
In theory, the speaker could skip the tradition of holding a floor vote to initiate a formal inquiry, similar to what former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (R-Calif.) did against former President Donald Trump.
But McCarthy has appeared to rule that out.
“To open an impeachment inquiry is a serious matter, and House Republicans would not take it lightly or use it for political purposes,” McCarthy said to Breitbart News in a statement. “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.”
The White House has ripped Republicans for even toying with an impeachment inquiry against President Biden.
McCarthy has not publicly committed to opening an impeachment inquiry but has reportedly dropped hints behind the scenes he could pursue it as soon as the end of this month.
“The thing that holds up whether we do impeachment inquiry — provide us the documents we’re asking,” McCarthy told Fox Business host Larry Kudlow last month, referring to Biden. “The whole determination here is how the Bidens handled this.”
“If they provide us the documents, there wouldn’t be a need for impeachment inquiry. But if they withhold the documents and fight like they have now to not provide to the American public what they deserve to know, we will move forward with impeachment inquiry when we come back into session.”
Further complicating the situation is the government shutdown fight McCarthy is facing.
McCarthy has favored a short-term stopgap measure known as a continuing resolution to keep the government funding past September.
If Congress fails to take action, the government will shut down in October, when the next fiscal year begins.
But some conservative members of his caucus are calling for concessions involving the two issues. For instance, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is demanding McCarthy hold an impeachment inquiry vote in exchange for funding the government.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has thrown House Speaker McCarthy lifelines during past battles for the speakership and debt ceiling.
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…
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (@RepMTG) August 31, 2023
House Republicans have been homing in on the Biden family’s overseas business dealings.
Still, a large swath of the House GOP caucus appears to be onboard with an impeachment inquiry.
“I think there’s consensus in our conference now that we’re gonna have to go to impeachment inquiry. Obviously, that’ll be Speaker McCarthy’s call,” Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer told Fox News’ Sean Hannity last week.
“I feel like that is imminent.”
Comer has been the point-man in the House GOP investigations of the Biden family’s overseas business dealings, which would be the underpinning of an impeachment.
Given the threadbare 222-to-212 Republican majority, McCarthy can only afford to lose four votes if all members of the lower chamber are present.
The House is slated to gavel back into session next week.

Original Story: McCarthy grapples with reluctant GOPers over Biden impeachment inquiry

By Mark

WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux