McCarthy discourages GOP conference from backing Biden impeachment resolution, urges patience
Speaker Kevin McCarthy said now isn't the right time to impeach the president.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has told his members to vote against the resolution brought forward by Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., that would impeach President Joe Biden when it comes to the floor later this week.
"I just think running something on the floor isn't fair to the American public without making the case and making the argument," McCarthy said of Boebert's resolution, suggesting that bringing the resolution to the House floor for a vote at this time could serve to discredit the ongoing GOP investigations.
Boebert sits on the powerful House Oversight Committee and McCarthy said she should be working through that committee given the panel has been investigating matters associated with the Biden administration.
"She's on Oversight. She should work through Oversight and this investigation. I think we're much stronger when we work as a team," he said.
McCarthy said, "We won't use impeachment for political purposes. We will follow our investigations exactly as we say we would. We're uncovering something new every day."
McCarthy repeated these sentiments earlier Wednesday morning to his conference and according to several members in the meeting, McCarthy acknowledged impeachment could pose a threat to the GOP's slim majority.
"What majority do we want to be? Give it right back in two years or hold it for a decade and make real change?" McCarthy said at the meeting, according to one member.
Several Republicans left the meeting Wednesday morning unhappy with the resolution and with Boebert, who did not attend the conference meeting Wednesday morning.
"We should get to the facts of that [impeachment]. But just doing a privilege motion is wrong. And it's not right for the country. It's not right for the House. We, I think that people deserve better," Rep. Don Bacon told ABC News.
Bacon said he thinks a large majority of Republicans think the move to vote on impeachment is "wrong" and "impeachment is a very serious thing as you go through committee."
"Impeachment shouldn't be something that is frivolous and treated in that way," Bacon said.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who herself has introduced impeachment articles against Biden and has a contentious relationship with Boebert, criticized Boebert's resolution, calling her a "copycat" but saying she will "of course" support the resolution. Greene said she addressed the conference about impeachment, saying it's the "right thing to do" and pledged to convert all her articles of impeachment to privileged resolutions.
The White House blasted Boebert's impeachment effort.
"Instead of working with [the president] on the issues that matter most to Americans, like jobs and inflation and health care, extreme House Republicans are staging baseless political stunts that do nothing to help real people, just to try to get attention for themselves," Ian Sams, White House spokesman for oversight and investigations, tweeted in response to Boebert.
Boebert's two articles of impeachment, introduced earlier this month, accuse Biden of "unconstitutional dereliction of duty at the southern border" and abuse of power. She revealed Tuesday her intent to bring the articles to the floor for a vote via a privileged motion.
While McCarthy has poured cold water on Boebert's proposal, he has used Rep. Anna Paulina Luna's resolution to censure Schiff as an example of how Republicans should be holding Democrats accountable.
Although Luna's first effort to censure Schiff for what she said was his "egregious abuse of the trust of the American people" failed when 20 Republicans joined Democrats in voting to table the resolution, she announced earlier this week her intent to revive the effort, this time stripped of a provision that would have fined Schiff $16 million.
Both McCarthy and Luna have said they expect the revised resolution to pass.
"A majority of 20 are switching their vote to support the new resolution and some members who were out of town will be voting with us. Based on our count, Adam Schiff will be investigated by ethics and censured," she tweeted Tuesday.
The conference took a key step in its consideration of the Schiff censure resolution Wednesday afternoon, when the House voted 218-208 to strike down a motion to table the resolution.