McCarthy: I don't think there's a need to whip the impeachment vote

McCarthy: I don't think there's a need to whip the impeachment vote
© Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyQAnon-supporting congressional candidate embraced 9/11 conspiracy theory Win by QAnon believer creates new headaches for House GOP GOP leaders go into attack mode against Harris MORE (R-Calif.) said he is confident there won’t be any Republican defections when the articles of impeachment come to the floor, but he expects a number of Democrats to buck party lines and vote against them.

The California Republican noted that the party unanimously voted against the impeachment procedure resolution in October, with two Democrats also having voted against it. McCarthy said he doesn’t think any of the information that has emerged from the hearings will move the needle on the whip count among Republicans.

“I don't think there's a need to whip the vote. If you watched impeachment inquiry, the only bipartisan vote was no. If you watch [what] has come forth since that, there's no reason to change that vote," he told reporters at a press conference Thursday.

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"And if I read the reports from the Democrats, there's more that's good to join us,” he added.

McCarthy said he believes Democratic leadership faces a bigger hurdle in keeping their members together on the vote, noting moderates in swing districts have expressed hesitation about supporting the articles on the floor. He pointed to an article citing a Democrat on background stating they don’t see evidence of an impeachable offense.

"I remember reading an article just last week where [a] Democrat moderate member was on record saying, ‘For me right now I'm struggling to see how the evidence supports impeachment.’ Really think your question should lie with the other side of the aisle,” he said.

“Because I think they're the ones that have a challenge, and how hard they're trying to hold their members to do something based upon different than the facts and evidence, and what they truly believe," he continued.

"It's interesting that this Democrat makes this statement but will not let you write the name, for fear of reprisal from the Speaker of the House," McCarthy told reporters. "And I imagine she would as she planned this for 22 months.”

However, at least one senior GOP aide disagreed with McCarthy.

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“While we feel very good about where we are, a whip check confirms member to member exactly where everyone is, it allows the members to hear from their colleagues, and it educates and gives a closing argument to the conference before a major vote, so, there are plenty of reasons to whip even if you feel confident that the conference is united, whether you’re in the majority or the minority," the aide told The Hill. 

The articles of impeachment are expected to come to the floor next week, and will likely pass along party lines.

House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseWin by QAnon believer creates new headaches for House GOP Scott Fitzgerald wins Wisconsin GOP primary to replace Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner GOP leaders go into attack mode against Harris MORE (R-La.) is expected to whip members against impeachment on the floor on Thursday.

Updated: 1:38 p.m.