Washington — A push by some House Republicans to impeach President Biden has become the latest headache for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy caused by conservative hardliners.
GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado introduced articles of impeachment against Mr. Biden on Tuesday as a privileged resolution, fast-tracking its consideration under House rules by circumventing the normal committee process. The articles focus on the president’s handling of the U.S.-Mexico border and immigration.
On Wednesday, McCarthy expressed frustration with Boebert, calling her effort to impeach Mr. Biden premature.
“She had never told members about it or never talked to me,” McCarthy told reporters. “Before you put something forward, shouldn’t you first talk to the conference about it? Because we’re doing investigations. Why would you do this?”
McCarthy compared the impeachment push to Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff’s actions regarding former President Donald Trump. Schiff, who was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, rose to prominence as Trump’s chief antagonizer in Congress and was the lead prosecutor in the former president’s first impeachment, which did emerge from the committee process. The House is voting Wednesday tofor the investigations into Trump.
“We’re going to censure Schiff for actually doing the exact same thing — lying to the American public and taking us through impeachment,” McCarthy said. “We’re going to turn around the next day and try to do the same thing that Schiff did? I just don’t think that’s honest with the American public.”
McCarthy said the Oversight Committee and Judiciary Committee investigations into Mr. Biden and his family should be allowed to play out before potential articles of impeachment are introduced.
Other House Republicans have shared similar sentiments about the process.
Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska said Boebert is “undermining the team,” and he expects the resolution will be tabled.
“I don’t worry just about the team,” Bacon said Wednesday. “It’s about Congress. It’s about our country. Impeachment shouldn’t be something that is frivolous and treated in that way.”
Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee said Mr. Biden should be impeached but the process should start in committee. Rep. Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota also wants to see it “go through regular order.”
Another conservative firebrand, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, has also introduced articles of impeachment against Mr. Biden over his handling of the border. She said Wednesday she plans to convert them to privileged resolutions — and noted she gave Republicans a heads up about her plans.
“I’m different than what Lauren Boebert did,” Green said. “She just went and did it. I just addressed the conference about impeachment and said that it is the right thing to do.”