For months, the House has been investigating allegations about President Joe Biden profiting from his son’s business dealings.
Now, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is planning to announce Tuesday a start to the impeachment process, according to a bombshell report.
But can McCarthy launch an impeachment inquiry just 18 days before the deadline for a new budget?
Punchbowl News, a Washington-based publication, reported Tuesday —
Speaker Kevin McCarthy plans to tell House Republicans in a closed meeting this week that launching an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden is the ‘logical next step’ in the GOP’s probes of the president and his son, Hunter Biden…
McCarthy and the House Republican leadership scheduled a closed-door session for Thursday morning so that members could get an update on the investigations led by House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and House Oversight Committee Chair Jamie Comer (R-Ky.). McCarthy plans to say that the two chairs have uncovered enough information that necessitates the House formalizing the impeachment inquiry in order to obtain the Bidens’ bank records and other documents.
The impeachment process contains several steps, with an impeachment inquiry as merely the first.
McCarthy had previously made similar comments. Last month, McCarthy outlined the conditions necessary for an impeachment inquiry. The House speaker promised an impeachment inquiry if Biden failed to disclose some of his personal records, including bank statements and credit card bills.
“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,” McCarthy said last month on Fox Business Network.
As of Tuesday, Biden seems to have met those conditions, according to McCarthy.
To pursue an impeachment inquiry, McCarthy would need support from 218 representatives, and some establishment Republicans have voiced skepticism about impeachment. “We can waste our time on issues that are not important, or we can focus on issues that are,” Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., said Sunday on MSNBC.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., has reportedly demanded either a Biden impeachment or a “motion to vacate” McCarthy from the speakership. Under the House’s current rules, a single representative can move to vacate the speaker and subject him to another round of voting.
McCarthy is set to make the impeachment announcement 18 days (11 workdays) before the deadline for a new budget. Without one, the federal government may shut down again.
The speaker’s team is pitching lawmakers on a stopgap funding bill, through Nov. 1, to keep the government running under a 30-day continuing resolution, or CR, according to a leadership aide’s anonymous remarks to the Associated Press.
However, some Republicans doubt McCarthy’s ability to juggle both impeachment and budgetary matters rapidly approaching a deadline.
“The things that we’re asking for… are not unreasonable, and there’s been no movement to address them, in my opinion,” Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry told Politico, referring to the Freedom Caucus’ demands for the budget.
South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman, another Freedom Caucus member, called a shutdown “pretty likely” during an interview with Politico.
McCarthy has remained clear-eyed about his packed agenda, full of both budget deals and oversight investigations. “We’ve got a lot of work to do,” McCarthy told reporters late Monday at the Capitol, brushing off calls for his removal.
For McCarthy, running the two tracks — a government funding process alongside an impeachment drive — is an unusual and politically fraught undertaking. He gave no new timetable for action when speaking to reporters.
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article.