House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced he has directed the House to open an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden over Biden’s potential role in his son Hunter Biden’s business deals, jumpstarting a busy month for lawmakers.
The announcement could be seen as an attempt to get more Republicans on his side as he tries to avoid a government shutdown.
“These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction, and corruption. And they warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives,” McCarthy said Tuesday.
Republicans have been trying to make the case that Biden used his power as then-vice president to influence business deals for his son Hunter, and some lawmakers have called on McCarthy to do more because of it.
“The American people deserve to know that the public offices are not for sale and that the federal government is not being used to cover up the actions of a politically associated family,” McCarthy said.
While no hard evidence has been produced so far by the House Oversight Committee, Republicans say it could come out during the inquiry.
“I do expect them to open an inquiry for no other reason than to try and get a little more cooperation in terms of getting the facts. And if they decide to do that I’ll be supportive,” said Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA).
This all happening while Congress faces an end-of-month deadline to continue funding the government or face a possible shutdown.
Some Republicans want tighter border security and to cut parts of the Justice Department’s budget as part of a new spending deal. There’s also a debate over whether Ukraine aid should be included in the new funding bill.
The speaker’s impeachment inquiry could be a way to mend fences with House Republicans pushing McCarthy to not give any ground to Democrats.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) threatened to call for removing McCarthy even after the impeachment inquiry announcement.
“I rise today to serve notice. Mr. Speaker you are out of compliance with the agreement that allowed you to assume this role. The path forward for the House of Representatives is to bring you into immediate total compliance, or remove you pursuant to a motion to vacate the chair,” Gaetz said on the House floor.
Gaetz said he’s prepared to take multiple votes for McCarthy’s removal if there’s a push for a “continuing resolution” or CR, basically a one-month patch to keep the government funded so debates over long-term spending bills can continue.
Meanwhile, in a statement addressing the impeachment inquiry, the White House called it “extreme politics at its worst.”