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U.S. Republican hardliners try to force Biden impeachment vote

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By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – At least two hardline Republicans plan to try to force the U.S. House to vote on whether to impeach Democratic President Joe Biden and members of his administration, over the objections of Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who fears that such moves risk undermining congressional investigations.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is due to vote this week on a resolution to impeach Biden for allegedly violating his oath by failing to enforce immigration laws and to secure the U.S.-Mexico border against the synthetic opioid drug, fentanyl.

“Republicans need to stick together and get this man out office for his dereliction of duty on the Southern Border,” the author of the resolution, Representative Lauren Boebert, tweeted on Wednesday.

The efforts stand little chance of advancing in the House, which Republicans control by a narrow 222-212 margin and where multiple Republicans predicted opponents would have the votes to stop the measure from coming to the floor.

Some hardline Republicans have been eager to impeach Biden as an act of retribution after his predecessor, Republican Donald Trump, was twice impeached by the then-Democratic-controlled House, once over Ukraine and once for his actions ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol.

Senate Republicans in both cases acquitted Trump.

The House was set to vote a second time on Wednesday on a privileged resolution to censure Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, who played a leading role in Trump’s Ukraine impeachment. The measure, brought by hardline Representative Anna Paulina Luna, was rejected last week due to Republican opposition to the inclusion of a $16 million fine that has since been dropped.

Another hardliner, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, said she is planning resolutions to impeach Biden, two members of his Cabinet, FBI Director Christopher Wray and a U.S. attorney who is prosecuting participants in the Capitol attack.

The development means new headaches for McCarthy, two weeks after about a dozen hardliners shut down the House floor to protest his compromise debt-ceiling deal with Biden.

McCarthy said he opposed a one-off vote to impeach Biden while committee investigations into the president’s family business dealings and his administration are still under way.

“Throwing something on the floor actually harms the investigation that we’re doing right now,” McCarthy told reporters. “(It) isn’t fair to the American public without making the case and making the argument.”

White House spokesperson Ian Sams on Twitter dismissed the proposals as “baseless political stunts.”

Greene, who has already introduced formal articles of impeachment against Biden and the other officials, told reporters that internal division is preventing Republicans from approving impeachment bills in the House Judiciary Committee.

Boebert introduced her proposal as a so-called privileged resolution, subject to a vote within two legislative days, and Greene said she would consider a similar move.

“I’m converting them to privileged to use when I feel it’s necessary,” Greene said of her impeachment bills against Biden, Wray, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves.

Greene was one of the few Republicans who voiced open support for Boebert’s impeachment resolution.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis)

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