House GOP Flips On Top Republican

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( – House Republican leaders took action to neutralize an attempt by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) to impeach President Biden, revealing deep divisions within the GOP regarding how aggressively to confront the White House. The House Rules Committee convened a meeting to establish a rule that would refer Boebert’s impeachment resolution to the House Homeland Security and Judiciary committees. Boebert’s resolution claimed that Biden’s handling of the U.S.-Mexico border and immigration warranted impeachment.

During the hearing, House Rules Committee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) stated that Speaker McCarthy and House Republicans are committed to following regular order, which entails conducting investigations before undertaking the serious constitutional duty of impeachment. A formal vote on the rule to re-refer Boebert’s resolution is scheduled for Thursday, according to House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA).

Previously, House Democrats planned to move a motion to table the resolution, effectively terminating it. However, the rule cannot be subjected to such a motion, depriving Democrats of the opportunity to defend Biden against impeachment and sparing Republicans from potentially challenging votes. Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) expressed concerns that Republicans who voted to table the impeachment articles might face criticism in primary elections.

Boebert’s unexpected privileged motion on Tuesday, which compelled immediate action on her impeachment resolution, caught GOP leaders off guard and drew rare public opposition from Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and other Republicans. Critics argued that the move to impeach Biden was premature and could hinder ongoing Republican efforts to investigate the president on various fronts, while also undermining future impeachment endeavors.

During a closed-door House GOP conference meeting on Wednesday, McCarthy urged his colleagues to reject the impeachment resolution when it reaches the floor later in the week. McCarthy emphasized the need for an investigation before taking action and expressed concerns that forcing a vote would impede the ongoing investigation.

Boebert did not attend the conference meeting but appeared on Steve Bannon’s show, defending her decision to force a vote on impeachment despite opposition from party leadership. Boebert stated that while she preferred committees to handle the work, she had not witnessed progress on the specific subject matter. She also expressed doubt that there were enough GOP votes to pass impeachment articles out of committee, highlighting her hope that the move would generate enthusiasm among the party’s base while they still held the majority.

Boebert’s actions disrupted the GOP’s focus on other criticisms of Biden, particularly regarding Hunter Biden’s plea deal involving federal tax and gun charges. Critics within the GOP, although not fans of the president, argued that Boebert’s move divided the party during a crucial political moment and preempted the various probes into Biden’s administration. Several Republicans expressed concern that Boebert’s impeachment effort, which bypassed committee action, followed the same flawed pattern they criticized in the previous Congress.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) stated his preference for any impeachment effort to go through the House Judiciary Committee, as his panel conducted investigations into a range of issues, including Biden’s handling of the U.S.-Mexico border and the business activities of the president’s family members. Comer acknowledged that the process would take time due to challenges from the FBI, the DOJ, and powerful lawyers. Regarding border issues, Comer suggested building a case against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas first, an approach favored by most House Republicans seeking retribution on the U.S.-Mexico border matter.

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) also expressed a preference for impeachments to go through his committee but did not necessarily oppose impeaching Biden. Jordan believed there was a better way to handle the process.

Democrats intended to move a motion to table Boebert’s impeachment resolution, and many Republicans expressed readiness to support the Democratic measure.

Boebert was one of four members who introduced articles of impeachment against Biden this year, all of which focused on Biden’s handling of the border and immigration issues. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who had clashed with Boebert in the past, accused Boebert of copying her impeachment efforts. Greene claimed that Boebert had replicated her articles of impeachment, modifying them into a privileged resolution. Despite these claims, Greene confirmed her support for Boebert’s resolution, as it mirrored her own.

In response to the pushback, some conservatives defended Boebert’s strategy, even though it deviated from the conventional committee process demanded by GOP leaders. Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus, argued that lawmakers were not attempting to circumvent the process by introducing privileged resolutions. Perry stated that regular order included allowing individual members to represent their districts, acknowledging that while it might not align with his approach, it was within their prerogative to do so.

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