Dem 51
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GOP 49
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House Republicans Are Struggling to Find Someone to Impeach

The Democrats impeached Donald Trump twice so now that Republicans control the House, they feel they are entitled to two impeachments, too. Only they don't seem to agree on who or why. Never mind that impeachment was intended only for the most grievous of offenses ("high crimes and misdemeanors"), not policy disagreements, but House Republicans want blood and they don't care whose it is. The problem is that the votes aren't there.

The two leading contenders for being impeached are Joe Biden and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. For the Freedom Caucus, nailing Biden would be more satisfying, but some Republicans remember what happened when Republicans got ants in their pants to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998: Democrats did very well in the midterms. Mayorkas is barely known and so the blowback to impeaching him would surely be less, but it is also far less satisfying. Also, in both cases, the Democratic Senate would probably find the impeachee not guilty in one day and then it would all be over.

The thing holding up the works is that the votes for impeaching anybody aren't there. Eighteen House Republicans are in districts that Joe Biden won and they know voting to impeach Biden (and probably Mayorkas) would be a suicide mission. They also know there is zero chance of conviction, so why give up their seats just to make members of the Freedom Caucus feel good? Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is trying to convince the "Biden 18" (see below) but they are not budging, and without them, there are not 218 votes to impeach anyone.

Freedom Caucus member Rep Chip Roy (R-TX) said: "Some of my colleagues get hung up on high crimes and misdemeanors in a way that they don't want to take that step with respect to Mayorkas. I disagree." What a bummer that a handful of Republicans insist that unless someone has committed a high crime or misdemeanor they shouldn't be impeached. Don't they know that we are entitled to two impeachments on account of what the Democrats put "Jesus" Trump through? Roy is trying to educate them, but so far without much luck, and without their votes, he can't get to 218. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) said: "Think about it—you replace Mayorkas with another Biden appointee." Of course, Mayorkas won't be replaced unless there are 67 votes in the Senate to convict him and there are almost certainly not going to be 50 votes, maybe not even 45 votes.

The White House has chimed in on the impeachment discussion. Ian Sams, a spokesman of the White House Counsel's Office, has said that McCarthy "continued lying about President Biden—making a series of plainly false, widely debunked attacks in order to promote the extreme far right's baseless impeachment stunt that even some members of McCarthy's own caucus are expressing concerns about pursuing." He called the whole thing a "shameless and baseless stunt." (V)

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