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Kevin McCarthy tries to tamp down MAGA fantasies about impeaching Biden if House Republicans reclaim control this fall: 'We will not play politics with it'

Business Insider logo Business Insider 9/29/2022 wrojas@insider.com (Warren Rojas)
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks during a weekly Capitol Hill press conference on May 28, 2020 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images © Alex Wong/Getty Images House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks during a weekly Capitol Hill press conference on May 28, 2020 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he doesn't take presidential impeachments lightly.
  • "We will not play politics with it," McCarthy said when asked about GOP dreams of booting Joe Biden.
  • Trump allies like Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene consider impeaching Biden non-negotiable.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, after momentarily reflecting on Trump's tumultuous single term in office, alerted his far-right members Thursday that impeaching Joe Biden is not at the top of his 2023 agenda if the GOP retakes control this fall.

"We just went through four years of watching a political impeachment," McCarthy told reporters at the Capitol, adding that Republicans, if returned to power during the midterm elections, wouldn't reflexively impeach Biden to avenge the embattled former president. 

"We will uphold the law. We will not play politics with it," McCarthy said when asked about mounting pressure from Trump loyalists to drag Biden down ahead of the 2024 presidential race. 

There was no immediate reaction to McCarthy's shot at managing expectations, in part because Biden impeachment cheerleaders Matt Gaetz of Florida and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia didn't attend the press conference on the Capitol steps. GOP hardliners Jim Jordan of Ohio, Jim Banks of Indiana, and Paul Gosar of Arizona also skipped the refresher on McCarthy's retooled governing blueprint. 

On Sunday, Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina told NBC's Chuck Todd that the price for reclaiming power is having to punish Biden. "There's a lot of pressure on Republicans to have that vote, to put that legislation forward," Mace said on Meet the Press. 

A day later, Gaetz said on social media that "our voters will feel betrayed" if Republicans shy away from impeachment. 

 

GOP lawmaker and January 6 committee member Adam Kinzinger predicts that if McCarthy does fulfill his lifelong mission of becoming House Speaker, the growing number of "crazies" in the caucus will want payback in exchange for their support.

"They're going to demand an impeachment vote on President Biden every week," Kinzinger said

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