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Boebert’s impeachment measure gets a vote, but not the one she wanted

Lauren Boebert’s impeachment resolution cleared the House today, but only after she dramatically changed it to prevent an embarrassing and costly failure.


There’s no shortage of House Republicans who want to impeach President Joe Biden. The Democrat’s GOP critics don’t have legitimate grounds to go after the incumbent president, but they do have all kinds of resolutions accusing Biden of high crimes.

There’s Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's impeachment resolution, which has four co-sponsors; Rep. Bill Posey’s impeachment resolution, which has one co-sponsor; Rep. Andrew Ogles’ impeachment resolution, which has three co-sponsors; and Rep. Lauren Boebert’s impeachment resolution, which also has three co-sponsors.

It’s that fourth one that’s proven to be especially notable. NBC News reported:

The Republican-controlled House voted Thursday to send a resolution to impeach President Joe Biden to a pair of committees, delaying a vote that has created massive headaches for Speaker Kevin McCarthy and sparked a nasty round of GOP infighting.

The final tally was 219 to 208, and while a handful of members didn’t participate in the vote, literally zero House Republicans opposed the resolution.

For the right-wing Colorado congresswoman, this was probably the best possible outcome, though it wasn’t the vote she was looking for.

The House Republicans’ original plan was to let the many impeachment resolutions targeting Biden to simply sit in committee, indefinitely, waiting for GOP leaders to decide whether to bother taking any of them seriously. In all likelihood, those waiting for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to initiate official impeachment proceedings against the president were likely going to wait quite a while.

And for Boebert, that wasn’t good enough: The Coloradan decided to push her impeachment measure as a privileged resolution, which would’ve forced the House to hold a vote on it this week.

Republican leaders were not pleased, not because they harbor some sympathies for the Democratic White House, but because they recognized the dangers in such a vote: Measures that unite your opponents and divide your allies are best avoided. In this case, Republicans in competitive districts had no interest in voting to impeach Biden for no reason, but they also didn’t want to defy the GOP’s broader partisan agenda.

It was a lose-lose proposition — which House Democrats were only too happy to watch unfold — that was all but certain to fail, further complicating matters for party leaders. (It’s easy to imagine the conservative media chyrons about the Republican-led House rejecting Biden’s impeachment, “refusing to hold him accountable,” leading to cries of betrayal from the party’s base.)

It was against this backdrop that Boebert backed down last night and struck a deal with McCarthy: Instead of a vote on impeaching Biden, she’d change her resolution to send the question of impeachment to the House Homeland Security and Judiciary Committees, which is where her measure was likely headed anyway.

And that’s what cleared the House today.

For Boebert, it’s tempting to see this as a partial victory, but given the circumstances, it’s probably better to characterize it as a partial loss: Yes, her resolution was approved on the floor, but only after she (a) abandoned the point of her own plan; (b) exasperated her own party’s leaders; and (c) successfully divided her own party’s conference.

The Colorado Republican wasn’t well positioned on Capitol Hill before this week, and given today’s developments, she’s in slightly worse shape now.