WASHINGTON — House Republicans have been talking a lot about impeaching President Joe Biden over what they allege is his improper involvement in his family’s business dealings.
But with a long to-do list when lawmakers return to Washington after August recess, for now, it’s all talk.
Former President Donald Trump however, is pressuring GOP lawmakers to put action behind their words and begin the impeachment process against Biden − or face electoral consequences.
“Any Republican that doesn’t act on Democratic fraud should be immediately primaried and get out,” Trump told supporters at a campaign rally Saturday in Erie, Pennsylvania. “We got a lot of good, tough Republicans around. People are going to run against them and people are going to win.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has repeatedly dismissed the notion he is facing pressure from the former president to go after Biden, calling an impeachment inquiry an appropriate course of action.
“If (the Biden administration) does not provide the information we need, then we would go to an impeachment inquiry,” McCarthy said at a press conference last week, referencing House Republicans’ various investigations into whether Biden benefitted from Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings.
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Republican lawmaker: Impeachment is walking ‘the plank’
McCarthy and other GOP lawmakers are finding themselves in a political bind over Trump’s comments. House Republicans only have roughly three weeks when they come back to Washington in September to approve must-pass spending bills, and an impeachment inquiry could take up valuable time needed to avoid a government shutdown.
There are also multiple House Republicans representing districts that Biden won in the 2020 presidential election. Proceeding with an impeachment inquiry could put those vulnerable GOP lawmakers in a politically fraught position heading into the 2024 election, something House GOP leaders want to avoid considering their razor-thin five seat majority.
Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., warned that impeachment could force vulnerable members to “walk the plank.”
“Every time we walk the plank we are putting moderate members, members that won Biden districts, we are putting those seats at risk for 2024. We are putting the majority at risk,” Mace said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Trump urges GOP lawmakers to fight back for him
Trump’s attempts to pressure House Republicans to impeach Biden comes as he faces a multitude of legal troubles, including a possible indictment for his attempts to overturn the 2020 election.
In the face of those legal woes, Trump has accused Biden and the Department of Justice of targeting him because he is the current frontrunner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary. As a result, Trump has implored GOP lawmakers to fight back on his behalf.
“They impeach me, they indict me,” Trump said at his rally in Erie. “And the Republicans just don’t fight the way … they’re supposed to fight.”
GOP leaders are also facing pressure from their right flank in the conference, with members from the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus calling to impeach the president.
“I don’t know how anyone, any objective reasonable person couldn’t come to the conclusion that this appears to be impeachment worthy,” Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., a member of the Freedom Caucus said last week, reiterating unsubstantiated claims that Biden was involved as vice president in his son’s business dealings.
House Republicans walk fine line between investigations and impeachment
Stuck in between the former president’s warnings and the upcoming 2024 elections, GOP lawmakers are struggling between continuing to investigate Biden or swiftly moving to impeach the president.
“We’re working through the process, our constitutional duty to have oversight over the executive branch,” Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., chair of the Republican Study Committee, told reporters last week.
Hern said Republicans are thoroughly investigating whether the president had connections to Hunter Biden’s business dealings and said Democrats “jumped to conclusions” when they impeached Trump.
“The Speaker has said that there may be an impeachment inquiry. That is not impeachment. That is Congress continuing its responsibilities to look into the issues that have been raised,” said Rep. Mike Lawler, R-N.Y., who represents a district Biden won in 2020.
“It’s just an ability to get more information,” House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., said at a press conference last week, saying an inquiry is “not in of itself an impeachment.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Donald Trump threatens House GOP to impeach Joe Biden: ‘Get out’