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Avoidable Antics: Lack of Process and Personal Disputes Mar Republican Efforts on Impeachment

House Republicans are facing internal turmoil as right-wing lawmakers push for impeachment votes, leading to a surge of infighting and clashes within the party. The escalating tensions highlight the deep divisions among Republicans, particularly within the right-wing Freedom Caucus, as they seek to shape the party’s agenda.

This dynamic was on full display last week when a resolution to censure Adam Schiff failed… because principled conservatives opposed setting a precedent of fining Schiff, with some calling it unconstitutional. Among the 26 Republicans that didn’t vote in favor was Rep. Thomas Massie, who wrote on social media:

Adam Schiff acted unethically but if a resolution to fine him $16 million comes to the floor I will vote to table it (vote against it). In fact, I’m still litigating a federal lawsuit against Pelosi over a salary reduction she imposed on me for my refusal to wear a mask. The Constitution says the House may make its own rules but we can’t violate other (later) provisions of the Constitution. A $16 million fine is a violation of the 27th and 8th Amendments.

My RedState colleague, Bonchie, summed up the knee-jerking aftermath here:

The Attacks on Republicans Who Voted Against the Schiff Censure Are Short-Sighted and Dumb

Personally, I felt the biggest mistake was that the vote wasn’t whipped successfully beforehand to save rank-and-file Republicans the public spectacle of the failed censure against Adam Schiff. Meanwhile, Hunter Biden gets sweetheart deals, and the former President gets skewered as a “spy” in some version of The Truman Show visits a Banana Republic. Of course that was flammable. 

The failed resolution, authored by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, was amended and passed on Wednesday

Since nobody learned anything, the Republican conference is going to do it again. Now, House Republicans are taking aim at articles of impeachment for President Joe Biden, and Rep. Lauren Boebert is just the person to follow up on Rep. Luna’s act. And it’s already a problem.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene called Boebert a “little b****,” on the House floor on Wednesday, and isn’t sorry about it, either. The Georgia Congresswoman said, “She has genuinely been a nasty little b**** to me,” adding, “I told her exactly what I think about her.” Greene also expressed that she would “absolutely not” be reconciled with Rep. Boebert.

This contentious exchange appears to be due to the fact that Greene has already brought articles of impeachment against the President, along with several cabinet members. But, Greene is still focused on her version of impeachment articles saying, “Impeachment has to be done … I do not have an exact timeline, but I’m converting them to privileged resolutions.”

 

Beyond the boiling point caught for the American public on C-SPAN’s cameras, there are many Republicans in opposition to Rep. Boebert’s move. And, to avoid another floor showdown and foreseeable reactivity among conservatives, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy invited Rep. Boebert to a closed-door conference on Wednesday, even extending the opportunity for the Congresswoman to speak to the group. Boebert didn’t show up.

In the meeting, the Speaker said that the investigations into the Biden administration need to play out and emphasized the importance of process, saying, “Such resolutions have to run through the normal committee process.” Even some members of the Freedom Caucus agreed with the Speaker’s position, with Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee saying, “I like the committee system,” and adding that efforts to circumvent it “frustrates me.”

There is a chorus of GOP Representatives sharing those views. Rep. Ken Calvert, a California ally of Speaker McCarthy, says of the right-winged faction, “I think they’ve kind of gone rogue” in trying to bring impeachment votes ahead of party consensus. Another California Congressman, John Duarte, implied that Boebert’s resolution does more harm than good, stating, “This motion is not going to pass… it actually undermines [future efforts].”

House members are flat out stating that they will be in opposition to vote against Boebert’s resolution citing the lack of process, among them Rep. French Hill from Arkansas, Rep. Carlos Gimenez of Florida, and Rep. Garret Garret Graves of Louisiana, who called the efforts “flippant.” Graves said, “Impeachment [is] one of the awesome powers of Congress… It’s not something you should flippantly exercise in two days.”

And while the divides leave citizens pointing fingers and drive divides like we saw last week with the failed vote on the Schiff censure, perhaps it’s all just theater for their re-election campaigns, according to one House Republican who spoke on the condition of anonymity, who said, “They are just using [these motions] for raising campaign cash.”

Read More:

Triggered Dems Erupt on House Floor as Adam Schiff’s House of Cards Tumbles Down

McCarthy’s Debt Ceiling Fallout: House Freedom Caucus Creates Procedural Blockade, Stalls Republican Agenda

The ongoing strife among House Republicans results in embarrassing clashes and personal disputes, like the recent showdown between Greene and Boebert, only making for good reality television fodder. These conflicts could have been avoided, but instead, they’re affecting the party’s future as moderates, and even true conservatives like Rep. Massie, catch flack for their votes.

No, really, someone ranted in my ear about how “they all need to be primaried,” I had to laugh off the idea of the well-seasoned Massie getting primaried… cuz the Constitution got in the way of someone’s feel-good agenda item. This is a microcosm of how these antics impact conservatives in their daily lives. We have to take sides within our own circles and explain that either there’s a nuance called the Constitution in play or brandish the other position with full conviction regarding how in this society of weaponized justice being wielded daily, there isn’t an excuse to vote in opposition. And pick your side, but the larger point is: We shouldn’t have to. 

All of this is fully avoidable if the members bothered to do their jobs which includes whipping the votes, making concessions among conference members, and negotiating amendments. The job isn’t actually to rally-cry at every possible moment. We have the majority. Reps like Boebert are being asked to send a resolution through the committee process. And, possibly yield… or work with… members who have already introduced similar pieces of legislation. 

The outcome of the impeachment resolutions remains uncertain, with Rep. Boebert’s expected to come up for a likely failed vote this week (cue the cameras) while the conflicts bleed into our conservative circles and localities, influencing upcoming primary challenges and shaping the Republican Party’s trajectory. 

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