Jan 11, 2024 - Politics & Policy

House Republican game-plan: Impeach everyone

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios.

As Congress stares down a budget deadline and multiple crises overseas, some House Republicans have focused their efforts on trying to impeach President Biden and his officials.

Why it matters: Impeachment has emerged as the House GOP's cudgel of choice against the Biden administration as they struggle to secure policy wins in spending negotiations.

Driving the news: A House Oversight Committee hearing on holding Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress made headlines when the president's son made a surprise appearance.

  • His arrival prefaced heated arguments between committee members and other shocking scenes of discord – just the latest twist in an impeachment inquiry into President Biden that has consumed the attention of the Oversight and Judiciary committees.
  • The House Homeland Security Committee, simultaneously, held the first hearing in its impeachment proceedings against Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas over the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Zoom in: Biden and Mayorkas aren't the only targets this week.

The intrigue: The push to impeach Mayorkas comes as the DHS secretary is trying to negotiate a border deal with Senate Republicans. To some Republicans in the House, that's less a problem than an opportunity.

  • "The more pressure we put on the Department of Homeland Security, [the more it] will force a realization about the border," said Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-N.Y.), describing impeachment as "leverage" in the Senate negotiations.
  • That's a stark contrast to the mood in the Senate, where many Republicans aren't sold on the the cases against Mayorkas and Biden.

What they're saying: Top House Republicans insist that the focus on impeachment this week won't detract from their efforts to keep the government funded past Jan. 19.

  • "At this point, it's at the committee level, so I'd like to see that as being a future problem," House Rules Committee Chair Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said of impeachment. "Our problem [on spending] is more immediate. Nobody is expecting an impeachment next week."
  • They also aren't phased by public opinion or the groans of Senate Republicans. "I don't think a prosecutor gets to decide if their investigations are popular or not," said Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.).
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