It’s no secret that Republicans are split on a crucial question: should the GOP-controlled House of Representatives impeach President Joe Biden?
When you have a divisive figure like Donald Trump in your party, it is no wonder differences of opinion are shared, and factions emerge.
Trump’s supporters, who amass more than half the party according to the latest polls, are desperate to impeach the President as Trump’s legal troubles continue to spiral.
The remainder, particularly those in key battlegrounds, remain unconvinced such a move is sensible and fear it will only be seen as politically motivated.
A decision to launch formal impeachment proceedings rests in the hands of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who must weigh the pros and cons of such an act before deciding what’s best for his party’s political ambitions, as well as his own.
The Facts So Far on Joe Biden
Republicans control the House of Representatives by 222-212, with a majority threshold of 218. In a vote along party lines, an impeachment would be sent to the Senate. However, if five Republicans voted against their colleagues, impeachment would fall at the first hurdle – a political embarrassment which would surely hurt the GOP in next year’s elections.
The divide within the Republican Party is not purely based on the man expected to be its presidential nominee, either. The investigation so far has primarily focused on Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings and his father’s connection to them. While we know the President was placed on speakerphone during discussions and attended dinners, such facts alone are not enough to convincingly impeach the President.
In the absence of clear-cut evidence, impeachment only appears to be an act of desperation among the ever-important swing voters. After all, Hunter is not the one being impeached, and in the absence of an obvious connection, the House has no conclusive grounds upon which to impeach the President.
The Case of the 18
Politicians may have their own private views on the Biden family, but the reality remains that they will be held accountable for their actions by the electorate. As such, Republican lawmakers in battleground areas are reluctant to support the impeachment ambitions of the right.
There are 18 GOP House Representatives who won their seat in congressional districts where Biden beat Trump in 2020. Many of these have expressed their support for the inquiry, but are reluctant to formally launch proceedings at this moment in time.
These 18 Republicans will be the most vulnerable at next year’s elections, so they must strategically differentiate their private opinions from their public statements to appease non-partisan voters. Their next steps, made all-the-harder amid growing pressure from outspoken Trump loyalists, could ultimately decide their political future when voters go to the polls on November 5, 2024.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
From the Vault