A handful of House Democrats are making it clear that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) — who previously said he wouldn’t launch an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden without a House vote — went back on his word because he doesn’t have the support of his caucus.
On Wednesday they were not shy about taking shots at McCarthy and the House Republican caucus for it.
“He changed his position when he realized he didn’t have the votes,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a member of the House Oversight Committee, told reporters on the House steps following a floor vote. “He doesn’t have the votes because he doesn’t have the evidence. And he doesn’t have the evidence because there is no evidence.”
Raskin emphasized that the far-right House Republicans have been going after the Biden family for months and have yet to offer up any evidence to support their claims, let alone an impeachment inquiry.
“There are three main things on the MAGA agenda this week,” Raskin said. “Shutdown the government, impeach the president and then overthrow the speaker.
“Is that a program America wants to get behind? I doubt it,” he added.
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) agreed that McCarthy only went back on his remarks “probably because he doesn’t have the votes.”
“We saw, from the very beginning, it was tough for him to organize his caucus and actually lead them,” Bowman told TPM.
“These shenanigans, this buffoonery coming from the Republican Party — it’s just disappointing,” Bowman said, pointing to McCarthy’s flip flop as “another example of dysfunction” within the House GOP caucus.
“It’s just important for the American people to know that while they are focusing on a sham impeachment without evidence, they’re not working with Democrats to keep the government open,” Bowman added. “They’re not working with Democrats to provide what the American people desperately need.”
Wednesday morning, when asked why he changed his position and decided to start an impeachment inquiry without a House vote, McCarthy got into a tense back and forth with CNN’s Manu Raju.
McCarthy pointed the finger at then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for setting a precedent by opening the first impeachment inquiry into former President Donald Trump and later bringing a vote to the floor. He also went on a rant about his caucus’ baseless investigations into the Biden family and grumbled at Raju for not asking “the other questions.”
“I never changed my mind,” McCarthy said dismissively when pushed to answer why he changed his mind.
“He doesn’t have the votes on the floor, that’s for sure,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said matter-of-factly.
“Members of his own party are saying — conservative members of his own party — are saying that there’s no basis for impeachment here,” Jayapal told TPM.
“They’re wasting time on a baseless impeachment,” she added.
When asked what she thinks about McCarthy blaming Pelosi for his decision to not take a floor vote before announcing an impeachment, Jayapal laughed out loud.
“That was a completely different situation,” Jayapal told TPM. “That person, Donald Trump, has been indicted of 91 felony counts.”