By Bernie Becker - 07/30/14 02:23 PM EDT
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday blamed the recent impeachment chatter on Democrats seeking to stir up their own base.
GOP leaders have tried in recent days to tamp down any idea that the House is interested in impeaching Obama, even as that idea remains popular with many in the party’s own conservative base and has been endorsed by a handful of Republican officials.
Obama and Democrats have themselves tried to amplify the impeachment talk, in a variety of statements and fundraising appeals.
“Look, I see this as sort of a ridiculous gambit by the president and his political team to try and change the narrative, raise money and turn out the base for an upcoming election that they feel is not going to go their way,” Ryan said Wednesday.
The House is moving to sue Obama for executive overreach — specifically, his delay of the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act.
Ryan on Wednesday also blamed Senate Democrats for essentially forcing the GOP’s hand with the lawsuit, saying leaders in that chamber had decided to back the White House instead of engaging in the checks and balances given to them by the Constitution.
But the Wisconsin Republican declined to comment on whether the lawsuit was frivolous, as some legal analysts have said. He did feel comfortable enough to say the president’s actions hadn’t crossed the impeachment threshold.
“This does not rise to the high crimes and misdemeanor level,” Ryan said.