The past week’s uproars about the Obama administration have had some Republican lawmakers revisiting one of the party’s favorite pastimes: impeachment.
For much of his time in the White House, President Obama has faced threats of impeachment from Republicans on Capitol Hill. His transgressions? Everything from using executive orders for his own agenda to being an impediment to theirs. TPM compiled a list of some of the members of Congress — all Republicans — who have invoked the “I-word” during the Obama years.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)
Calling Benghazi “most egregious cover-up in American history,” the Oklahoma Republican floated the suggestion last week. He predicted that impeachment may no longer be a taboo subject. “People may be starting to use the I-word before too long,” Inhofe said.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)
Backing up Inhofe, Chaffetz said Monday that he won’t take the possibility of impeachment off the table because he didn’t know what other details related to Benghazi will emerge. “It’s certainly a possibility,” Chaffetz said, as quoted by the Salt Lake Tribune.
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX)
As the White House readied its gun control proposal in January, Obama said he would implement some of his ideas through executive action. That mere suggestion was enough for Stockman to issue a statement threatening to thwart the White House’s efforts “by any means necessary” — including impeachment.
Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL)
The freshman Florida Republican indicated he was receptive to Stockman’s idea, saying in January that “all options should be on the table” as the White House sought gun control measures. Congress, Radel said, “needs to hold the President accountable for the decisions that he’s making right now.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
Arguably the least surprising inclusion on this list, Gohmert in January blasted Obama, saying the president had “already abused the law enough times that it’s just been staggering.” Gohmert told Newsmax that using an executive order to implement gun laws would be sufficient grounds to impeach Obama. “It’s not a president who steps up and says: ‘You know what? Previous Congresses have passed the law — and it’s been signed into law, and I disagree with it, so I’m just going to create new law — and as I speak, so shall it be,'” Gohmert said.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
It may come as a surprise to some that, when she was asked in 2010 if Obama should be impeached for failure to secure the border, the doyenne of the tea party stopped short of a full-throated endorsement. “Whether or not this is an impeachable offense is one that the Congress would have to make a determination on,” Bachmann said at the time.
But by 2011, Bachmann was in the throes of a Republican presidential campaign and ready to make a “determination” on impeachment. Asked by a voter in Iowa if she would “impeach him and get him out of the way,” Bachmann said repeatedly that she agreed.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
In the summer of 2011, when he was still a member of the House of Representatives, now-Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) told a tea party group that Obama risked impeachment if he eschewed congressional approval to raise the debt limit. “This president is looking to usurp congressional oversight to find a way to get it done without us,” Scott said. “My position is that is an impeachable act from my perspective.”
Rep. Steve King (R-IA)
About the same time as Scott’s remarks, King took to Twitter to declare that discussion of defaulting on the nation’s debt was pretty much a waste of time. Such a scenario would obviously lead to Obama’s impeachment, he said. End of story.
STOP talking about default. The 1st dime of each $1 of revenue services debt. Obama would be impeached if he blocked debt payments. C C & B!
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) July 25, 2011