Wed. May 29th, 2024

GOP impeachment efforts hit brick wall

Samantha Parker By Samantha Parker May23,2024

Republican impeachment efforts against President Biden and his Cabinet appear to have hit a brick wall after the Senate swiftly dismissed articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Senators dismissed a pair of impeachment articles Wednesday after less than three hours of procedural bickering, closing out the House GOP’s yearlong effort to oust Mayorkas with a whimper.

And despite some Republican interest in plowing ahead with a push to impeach Biden, the road to do so appears increasingly closed off and many congressional Republicans say they’re ready to move on from all things impeachment.

“I don’t think we can do anything,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the effort to impeach Mayorkas, said in response to a question from The Hill shortly after Wednesday’s votes.

“I mean, if we had courage in the House, we might refuse to fund a salary — there’s things like that in the next budget process … If Republicans remember that controlling the House means you have the power of the purse, we can do all kinds of things. We really can. We can do everything, but it requires leadership that has the courage to push it through. And we don’t have that right now.”

Conservatives came into the current Congress vowing to hold Biden administration officials — and the president himself — accountable.

While voting down the Mayorkas impeachment ended the legislative effort to make him the face of the border crisis, House conservatives have no shortage of names of Biden officials they’ve floated for a possible impeachment.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and even FBI Director Christopher Wray have all had resolutions filed to boot them from their posts, but none have gone anywhere.

At the top of the list, however, is the president himself, with a trio of House committees investigating Biden and his family.

For House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.), Wednesday’s events in the Senate cemented the belief that the best way to end his probe into the president was with criminal referrals to the Justice Department, not an impeachment vote.

It’s an idea he floated ahead of the Senate proceedings on Mayorkas, and one skeptics say is a pathway for avoiding a tough vote in the House — though Comer said such a vote is still on the table.

“That’s why I’ve always said that I think a better route for accountability is the criminal referrals,” he said Wednesday. “But at the end of the day, you know, we got a problem here where we believe there have been impeachable offenses committed. So what do you do? I mean, you have a constitutional responsibility. It’s unfortunate the Senate didn’t take it any more seriously.”

Still, several members of the House insisted the Senate’s swift dismissal has not diminished their appetite for impeachment.

“Look, we should always just do what we think is appropriate. If the Senate’s not going to take up a properly formed past impeachment, that’s on them. I mean, there’s nothing that we can do constitutionally to do something about that. All of this is just political consequences,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) said.

“Mayorkas deserved to be impeached, he was impeached, that’ll forever be a part of history as it should be. … And I think if we have someone else that needs to be impeached, we should pursue it for the appropriate reasons. That’s our job. If the Senate is not going to convict, that’s on the Senate.”

Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) likewise called for careful consideration of “responsibly utilized” impeachments.

“I think it’s a complete dereliction of duty not to run that full trial process,” he said, borrowing a term that the House once mulled as a charge for Mayorkas. 

But he said that doesn’t dampen enthusiasm in the House.

“We’re gonna do our job. And we’re going to do it [with] integrity for the process. We’re going to do it with carefulness and thoughtfulness, as it should be. But we’re not going to short shrift it over here just because [Senate Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer’s not willing to do his job in the Senate.”

House Rules Committee ranking member Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said he had no doubt his colleagues on the other side of the aisle would forge ahead.

“The crazies will continue to be crazy here,” he said.

“They will continue to do stuff that makes no sense and, you know, they’re starved for attention. Maybe they didn’t get enough love in their childhood. I don’t know what it is. But they will continue to do this. I don’t expect they’re expecting insanity to end. I wish it would. But they just seem to continue to do the same old, stupid stuff time and time again.”

Across the Capitol, senators widely expect that Wednesday’s brief proceedings ended their work on impeachment for the year.

Although most Republicans remain upset with how the Mayorkas impeachment trial process went down, they don’t have a desire to have a third presidential impeachment trial come down the rails in a matter of just six years. They are also content to let things play out at the ballot box in a little more than six months. 

“It didn’t take much chamber time, but it distracted us from a number of other things that we needed to deal with,” Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) said. “Hopefully we’re going to learn from this and this just [does] not become a standard part of the process when you have different parties in the White House and the House in charge.” 

Part of the timing Tillis pointed to is Wednesday’s trial taking up a full work day when the chamber could have instead been dealing with the reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Senators are attempting to strike an agreement to vote ahead of the deadline of midnight Friday to avoid a lapse of the program. 

Some conservative senators see impeachment being closed off as an option for the rest of the year for a different reason. They argue that Schumer’s call to dismiss the articles before a trial could even take place will likely scare off any other attempts this year.

“I’d say impeachment could be done for a good while when you set the precedent of not having a trial for the first time ever. It’s been devalued by what Schumer did, and I think you can expect that kind of thing to happen if they’d ever initiate it on the other end,” Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) said. 

“I think that was a terrible precedent to set,” he added.

Samantha Parker

By Samantha Parker

Samantha is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering the truth behind the headlines. With years of experience in investigative reporting, she has covered a wide range of topics including politics, crime, and entertainment. Her in-depth analysis and commitment to factual accuracy make her a respected voice in the field of journalism.

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2 thoughts on “GOP impeachment efforts hit brick wall”
  1. Do you think the GOP will shift their focus to other strategies after the failed impeachment attempts?

    1. Yes, I believe the GOP will pivot towards other strategies following the failed impeachment attempts. The recent dismissal of the impeachment articles against Mayorkas signals a roadblock in their efforts. It seems those in the party are now acknowledging the limitations and are likely to explore alternative avenues to address their concerns about the Biden administration.

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