Boebert proposal to impeach Biden is getting pushback on both sides. Here’s why

Lauren Boebert
Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., looks out from her seat during a House Committee on Oversight and Accountability hearing on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, in Washington.

Updated at 5:30 p.m.

In an about face, Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert said she would not bring her impeachment resolution against President Joe Biden to the House floor. Instead she said the resolution would be referred to the House Committee on Homeland Security, in addition to the Judiciary Committee.

The House is expected to vote on that Thursday.

Boebert framed the move as a win.

“We should have been working on impeachment since we took hold of the gavels in this Congress. And I didn’t see any progress in the committees,” she said. “It seems that nothing happens in Washington, D.C. without force.”

Just the day before, the hard right conservative signaled her intention to use a rare procedural tactic, known as a privileged motion, to force a vote. It would have bypassed the committee process and forced a floor vote on her two articles of impeachment against Biden over his handling of the southern border.

GOP leadership, however, was not on board.

Wednesday afternoon, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters that the move was “premature,” especially as both the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight Committee, which Boebert sits on, are still investigating Biden and his administration on a number of issues, including the border.

“I think just running something on the floor isn’t fair to the American public,” McCarthy said. He added, “We’re not going to use impeachment for political purposes. We’re going to follow our investigations.”

McCarthy said he worried this resolution would disturb or disrupt those ongoing efforts. At a meeting of Republican members Wednesday morning, he reportedly made these same arguments to the conference and urged them not to support Boebert’s motion.

Rank and file members of the Republican caucus appeared to be split on the issue, at least based on reactions from Colorado’s other two GOP congress members.

Rep. Doug Lamborn said he was inclined to support impeaching Biden at this point, “given his abysmal handling of the southern border.”

“It’s gotten so bad, it has become a national security threat, as well as a humanitarian threat, as well as an economic threat,” he said. Still, Lamborn added, “I doubt it will go anywhere in the final analysis.”

Rep. Ken Buck, who like Boebert belongs to the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said this is not the right time to go forward on impeachment. “I don’t think there’s a high crime and misdemeanor that’s been proven. I think there’s some allegations, but I think we’ve got to go through the process if we’re going to do this the right way.”

And should other House members follow Boebert’s lead and try to bypass committees and leadership to get immediate votes on their impeachment resolutions, Buck warns the tactic “undermines a future impeachment, if there’s a credible impeachment down the road.”

Boebert reportedly did not attend a GOP conference meeting Wednesday morning to answer questions or talk to other Republicans about her push to impeach Biden.

However, in a statement she defended her actions saying she was “upholding my oath.”

In arguing for impeachment, Boebert focused on the rise of fentanyl deaths and drug trafficking in the Colorado, and claimed, using data from an anti-immigration group, that each undocumented immigrant in the state costs taxpayers an average of five thousand dollars (the majority of that expense comes from the cost of educating the children of immigrants, who are themselves U.S. citizens).

“Under Joe Biden's deliberate dereliction of duty, every state is a border state. Coloradans are paying the price for his failure of leadership, and I am advocating for them in Congress with my articles of impeachment,” Boebert wrote in a tweet.

A procedural vote to counter a procedural vote

In theory, if Boebert used a privileged motion, she would have gotten her vote within two days.

However, a vote on the impeachment resolution was unlikely. Democrats said they’d use another procedural maneuver: a motion to table that would have essentially shelved the resolution and killed it before the House could consider it.

It’s what happened when Democratic Rep. Al Green tried to force a vote against former President Donald Trump in 2017. In that instance the House had a strong bipartisan vote, 364-58, to table the resolution, effectively killing it. Democratic leadership at the time supported tabling Green’s resolution.

Democrats had also criticized Boebert’s push for an impeachment vote.

Colorado Rep. Jason Crow took to Twitter to call it a “clown show,” while White House Spokesperson for Oversight and Investigations Ian Sams described it as a political stunt that will “do nothing to help real people and only serve to get [extreme House Republicans] attention.”

This isn’t the first time Boebert has tried to impeach Biden. She also introduced a resolution to do the same in the last Congress, over the Afghanistan withdrawal, and has signed on as a co-sponsor to another impeachment resolution offered by fellow hard-right conservative Rep. Andy Ogles.

Leaving the chamber Wednesday night, Boebert said if nothing happens in Committee, she will bring up her resolution every day until the House acts.