Congress

McCarthy push for House to vote against impeachment is tabled again

Minority Leader used procedural tool to try to get members on the record before recess

The House has twice tabled a resolution from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., disapproving of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The House tabled a resolution from Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Friday disapproving of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to move forward with an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. It’s the second time this week.

The resolution says that the House “disapproves of the actions of the Speaker of the House, Mrs. Pelosi of CA, to initiate an impeachment inquiry against the duly elected President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.”

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McCarthy introduced the measure as a privileged resolution, a procedural move that gives one House action precedence over the regular order of business and allows a resolution to leapfrog or interrupt other pending matters before the chamber.

The California Republican first introduced the resolution Wednesday, when it was tabled in a vote of 232-193. His Friday attempt was again tabled by a vote of 222-184. Both votes had Democrats and Republicans united on opposite sides.

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McCarthy argued repeatedly this week that the full House should vote on whether or not to move ahead with the impeachment inquiry. He said constituents should be clear, as members return to their home states, where their elected representatives stand on the issue.

“The House of Representatives has moved forward with impeachment against a federal officer three times, each initiated by an impeachment inquiry resolution approved by the full House, not by a unilateral decree of the Speaker,” the resolution continues.

Since Pelosi’s announcement of the renewed impeachment push earlier this week, McCarthy has taken aim at his California colleague’s handling of the whistleblower report and saying that Democrats are moving forward without any evidence against Trump.

“If Speaker Pelosi refuses to seek approval of the whole House in this critical decision — as is longstanding practice of this body — I will again give all members the opportunity to go on record on this matter. I ask every member to take this vote seriously,” he told reporters Thursday.

The House departed Friday for a two-week recess during which most members will return to their districts. Democrats have said that members on House committees involved with the impeachment probe will work through much of the recess.

This could become a recurring action by McCarthy, as a way to voice his opposition to the impeachment inquiry and Pelosi’s strategy for moving forward. It is one strategy for keep attention on Republican’s viewpoint, a challenging task for priorities of the minority party.

Earlier this year, House Republicans used other procedural tools of the minority party to force action on a bill to require health care practitioners to provide care to an infant born alive during an attempted abortion.

With the so-called “born alive bill” stalled without action in committee, members began circulating a discharge petition, which requires 218 signatures to force the bill out of committee.

Republicans also requested unanimous consent to bring the measure to the floor at least 80 times. 

It was rejected by Democratic leaders day after day, but the repeated action allowed Republicans to discuss the topic daily and point a finger at Democrats for blocking the legislation.

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