Leading House Republicans are developing a plan to investigate Joe Biden and his Cabinet extensively next year after taking control of the chamber.
The plan could yet be ruined by their right flank.
Members of the GOP leadership and committee chairs-elect have been planning the start of attention-grabbing investigations for months in the event that they succeed in taking back the House this autumn. However, neither those Republicans nor Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) have publicly commented on the prospect of impeaching Vice President Joe Biden, which would rock the nation and set off a chain reaction with unforeseeable consequences for the party.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who frequently throws about rhetorical bombs and only last year called for the president to quit, said of impeaching Biden in the following Congress, “I think that’s an issue for the conference.”
Even while it could taint the party’s messaging, talk like that isn’t stopping some of the conference’s greatest Trump supporters from moving forward with early promises to submit impeachment proceedings. Although it’s not the first time, party leaders are pushing for unity before the November election. Some members are zigging while other colleagues are zagging.
With 14 impeachment resolutions filed since early 2021, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and other firebrands have laid a trail of breadcrumbs that point to conservatives’ top targets if Republicans take back the House. At the top of the list are Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.
When asked if she supported impeaching Biden, Greene responded, “I hope my colleagues will shift to my stance because that’s how their voters feel.” She also claimed she would “definitely” be introducing articles the following year.
Democrats close to the president believe that House Republicans are headed for an overreach that will result in unpleasant fallout in 2024. McCarthy was warned by a senior Democratic aide, speaking on the record but under the condition of anonymity, that a slim GOP majority would embolden his right flank to the detriment of his own interests: “Those members will have his balls in such a vice grip that when they say ‘jump,’ he’ll say ‘how high,’ and it’ll be too late before he realises the fall will kill them.”
However, there are also warnings from within the House, where some Republicans advise against going down a political rabbit hole that has no chance of ousting Biden.
“I hope we don’t” remove Biden from office, Oklahoman congressman Tom Cole remarked. “I would contend that there won’t be a conviction in the Senate at the end of the day, as we all know. It merely poisons the system and stirs up a lot of trouble.
When asked recently about a presidential impeachment, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), who is anticipated to head the Oversight Committee should Republicans take control of the chamber, resisted answering.
Kevin McCarthy will have to make that decision in consultation with Jim Jordan, Comer added.
He predicted that a GOP House would be “ready to try to impeach” Biden in an August appearance on Fox News.
However, when asked recently if there was any internal pressure to remove Biden, Comer simply replied, “I’m not under pressure, because that’s going to be McCarthy’s job.”
Historically, Congressional leaders have viewed presidential impeachments with caution. Only three presidents have ever been removed from office by the House: Trump. During the tea party-driven opposition to President Barack Obama, Republican talk of impeachment never progressed.
When asked lately about the possibility of impeaching Biden, McCarthy dodged the question, telling reporters, “We just went through four years of seeing a political impeachment.” “We’ll enforce the law. We won’t use it for political purposes.
However, if the GOP takes control of the House next month, internal party politics would undoubtedly fuel a strident impeachment effort. Nearly 140 Republicans currently serving in the House backed the challenges to Biden’s 2020 victory that were motivated by flimsy Trump-sponsored allegations of massive voter fraud, and more Republicans who backed those bogus allegations are expected to enter Congress in 2019.
However, base fervour doesn’t always translate into votes, and it already seems unlikely that the House GOP will be able to remove Biden from office. The most support for any of the Biden impeachment resolutions introduced since January 2021 is eight lawmakers. If Republicans win the majority, those numbers might increase the following year, but a sizable portion of moderates, more pragmatic lawmakers, and even traditional conservatives would still need to be persuaded.
Republicans believe Mayorkas is more likely to be impeached than Biden, but they would still need to persuade the leadership and moderates to support them. Notably, during a recent journey to the border, McCarthy opened the door.
In response to a question about impeaching Biden, Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) stated that Mayorkas “had not lived up to his oath.”
Jordan, whose committee oversees impeachments, said that while the decision was ultimately up to the members, Mayorkas “deserves it” given how he handled the southern border. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) announced that he will likewise introduce a Mayorkas impeachment resolution the following year, promising “plentiful” GOP support.