Kevin McCarthy says a government shutdown would hurt the American public by shutting down Republican investigations of the Bidens pic.twitter.com/jqMVK6fyip
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 27, 2023
NEWS: McCarthy, under pressure from the right, has told Republicans he’s serious about a Biden impeachment inquiry & wants to start in September.
But they don’t have the votes — or evidence — yet, which is why there’s talk of skipping an inquiry vote. https://t.co/HgT3haksPe
— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) August 28, 2023
Just oooone little spending patch, and then y’all get a nice big bowl of impeachment kabuki theatre! Kev can’t even get all the Freedumb Carcass members on board with skipping an inquiry vote, so he’s resorting to promising them all more face time on the teevee.
… In recent weeks, McCarthy has privately told Republicans he plans to pursue an impeachment inquiry into Biden and hopes to start the process by the end of September, according to multiple GOP sources familiar with the conversations. While McCarthy has already publicly threatened to launch an inquiry if allegations from IRS whistleblowers hold up or if the Biden administration does not cooperate with requests related to House Republicans’ Hunter Biden probe, sources say that McCarthy has sent even stronger signals about his intentions behind closed doors.
But leadership recognizes that the entire House Republican conference is not yet sold on the politically risky idea of impeachment. That’s why one of the biggest lingering questions – and something Republicans have been discussing in recent weeks – is whether they would need to hold a floor vote to formally authorize their inquiry, sources say. There is no constitutional requirement that they do so, and Republicans do not currently have the 218 votes needed to open an impeachment inquiry.
Skipping the formal vote, which would be a tough one for many of the party’s more vulnerable and moderate members, would allow Republicans to get the ball rolling on an inquiry while giving leadership more time to convince the rest of the conference to get on board with impeachment. During former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment, House Democrats ended up voting to both formalize their inquiry and set parameters for the process after initially holding off on doing so amid divisions within their ranks.
“I don’t believe that a vote of the House is required to open an impeachment inquiry,” GOP Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who supports a Biden impeachment and sits on the House Judiciary Committee, told CNN.
Another factor that could complicate the fall timeline for an impeachment inquiry: Government funding expires at the end of September. McCarthy has already signaled they will need a short-term spending patch to keep the government’s lights on, which hardline conservatives have balked at.
Officially moving ahead with an impeachment inquiry could help keep angry conservatives off McCarthy’s back. And the speaker himself has linked the two issues publicly, warning that a government shutdown could hinder House Republicans’ ability to continue their investigations into the Biden administration – a direct appeal to his right flank, and a sign of all the competing pressures that the speaker is facing.
“If we shut down, all of government shuts down. Investigations and everything else,” McCarthy said Sunday on Fox News…
GOP Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, a member of the hardline Freedom Caucus who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, has previously accused McCarthy of engaging in “impeachment theater.”
And one GOP lawmaker, granted anonymity to speak more freely, offered an even blunter assessment: “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.” …
Can’t wait for it. He’s gonna learn what Gingrich learned after ‘98 https://t.co/v0WSvS47LF
— Dark Brandon Mecha VI (@TonyMoonbeam) August 28, 2023