McCarthy Tells House to Open Impeachment Inquiry

House speaker has been under pressure from the right
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2023 7:35 AM CDT
Updated Sep 12, 2023 10:44 AM CDT
As House Returns, McCarthy Is on a Tightrope
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
UPDATE Sep 12, 2023 10:44 AM CDT

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, under pressure from his right flank, is having his chamber open an impeachment inquiry of President Biden over his family's business dealings, reports the Hill. "These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption and warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives," McCarthy told reporters Tuesday, per the Washington Post. "That's why today I am directing our House committee to open a formal impeachment inquiry." McCarthy spoke briefly and took no questions.

Sep 12, 2023 7:35 AM CDT

The House returns to session on Tuesday, and the next few weeks are shaping up to be politically volatile ones. Among the big questions rounded up by the Hill: Will Republicans open an impeachment inquiry against President Biden? Can Republicans and Democrats reach a spending deal to avoid a government shutdown at month's end? And, tied into both of those narratives, can Kevin McCarthy keep his job as House speaker?

  • Impeachment: Punchbowl News reports that McCarthy plans to tell Republicans in a meeting later this week that an impeachment inquiry is the "logical next step" in regard to the investigations of the president, son Hunter, and the Biden family's foreign business dealings. That would please the House's conservative flank, though the Hill reports it's not clear whether McCarthy would have enough votes in the full House to pass an article of impeachment. And the matter would almost certainly go nowhere in the Senate.

  • Speaker's post: The New York Times reports that McCarthy's job is "on the line," with Rep. Matt Gaetz in particular making noises about trying to oust him from the leadership post. Gaetz and other members of the Freedom Caucus say McCarthy is not being aggressive enough in going after the Bidens and in budget negotiations with Democrats. McCarthy says he is "not at all worried" about the prospect, and Axios explains why: While a single member can trigger a motion to vacate the leadership post, ousting McCarthy would require a full House majority, and it's not clear enough Democrats are on board.
  • Shutdown: McCarthy wants to pass a stopgap funding bill to keep the government running past Sept. 30, but hard-line conservatives say they won't support such a measure unless it includes deep cuts to government spending, reports the AP. But all of the above is intertwined. If McCarthy agrees to an impeachment inquiry, that could help his cause in getting a continuing resolution passed.
(More Kevin McCarthy stories.)

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