Certain House conservatives are cautiously observing Speaker Kevin McCarthy as he intensifies his rhetoric regarding the potential impeachment inquiry of President Biden. They are worried that he is using this suggestion as leverage in the ongoing negotiations over government spending.
Representative Dan Bishop from North Carolina expressed his concerns, stating, “It seems like the Speaker is using the possibility of initiating an impeachment inquiry as a means to pressure members into supporting a clean continuing resolution or other spending proposals that deviate from the agreement we made when we supported him for Speaker in January.”
Bishop believes that an impeachment inquiry against Biden is warranted due to evidence of corruption involving his son. He also suggests opening impeachment probes against Attorney General Merrick Garland and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. However, Bishop emphasizes that these matters should not be linked to coercing members into voting for unwarranted spending provisions.
The House is currently in recess and will return next week, but discussions are already underway regarding how to fund the government in the upcoming fiscal year. Some conservatives, including the House Freedom Caucus, are urging McCarthy to push for deeper spending cuts and attach GOP priorities to any short- or long-term deal. However, gaining Senate or White House approval for such measures is unlikely.
Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers acknowledge the need for a continuing resolution (CR) as a temporary funding solution while negotiations continue. Federal funding is set to expire on September 30, and failure to take action by the deadline could lead to a partial government shutdown. Conservatives have indicated that they will not support a “clean” CR that simply extends the priorities of the previous Democratic-controlled Congress.
In August, it was reported that McCarthy had floated the possibility of holding a floor vote in September to initiate a Biden impeachment inquiry. Some GOP lawmakers viewed this move as an attempt to divert attention from appropriations bills.
Although McCarthy has not specified when he plans to hold an impeachment inquiry vote, he has characterized it as a “natural step forward” in the investigative process. Some conservative lawmakers support the idea of a Biden impeachment inquiry but remain skeptical of McCarthy, especially after what they perceive as the GOP being “rolled” in the debt limit deal.
Representative Bob Good from Virginia stated, “The American people will not be fooled into believing that talking about impeachment inquiry somehow lessens our responsibility to reduce spending.” He supports impeaching Biden over the border crisis but acknowledges the possibility that discussions of impeachment could be a distraction.
Representative Chip Roy, the policy chief of the House Freedom Caucus, issued a warning to House GOP leaders, cautioning against using impeachment as a cover for maintaining excessive funding.
Although not all conservatives share the same perspective, some, like Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, an ally of McCarthy, are open to supporting a spending deal tied to a Biden impeachment inquiry vote. Representative Ben Cline from Virginia, a member of both the Judiciary and Appropriations committees, believes that the spending and investigatory tracks are proceeding independently but simultaneously due to calendar circumstances.
Cline remains confident that House Republicans can handle both tracks effectively, acknowledging that the investigatory track depends on the administration’s cooperation in uncovering potential pay-to-play operations involving foreign adversaries.