GOP rep: Impeachment 'debatable'

Multiple conservative House Republicans said Tuesday that impeaching President Obama was not "practical," but some went so far as to say the idea had merit.

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"The president deserves to be impeached, plain and simple," Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas) said at an event hosted by the Heritage Foundation.

Weber said proceedings would be fruitless at this time because the Democratic-controlled Senate, where a two-thirds majority conviction vote is required to impeach a president, would never approve it.

"I don't think it's practical that we impeach him right now, but he definitely deserves it," Weber said.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), who voted to impeach President Bill Clinton in 1998, said that doing the same for Obama was "debatable."

"I think it's debatable. I certainly think the president has gone out of his way to not enforce some of the laws that the Congress thinks he should be enforcing," Barton said.

But Barton acknowledged that impeachment supporters didn't have the Senate on their side or the time at this point to go through the established process.

"If you're going to impeach a president of the United States, you need to do it right," Barton said.

But other conservatives on the Heritage panel warned that impeachment would overplay Republicans' hand and alienate independent voters.

"If you want to have the Democrats keep control of the Senate, this would be one way to do it, to start an impeachment action," said Rep. John Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.).

Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) sought to distance himself from former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who argued Obama deserved impeachment over the influx of child migrants crossing the border.

"I believe that Sarah Palin, who has given us some good information on some issues, doesn't have the burden of leadership right now," Labrador said. "It's really easy for her to go on Fox News and make statements that she doesn't have to be accountable to anybody but herself. And she's free to do that."

Moreover, Labrador warned that impeaching Obama would result in a less desirable immediate situation for Republicans.

"Nobody wants a President Joe Biden," Labrador said.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said he doesn't support calls for impeachment. Later this month, the House will vote on a lawsuit against Obama for his use of executive action. The lawsuit is framed around the delay of the healthcare law's mandate requiring employers with 50 or more employers to provide insurance.