McCarthy threatens motion to oust Pelosi if she moves forward with impeachment

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyConservatives seize on New York Post story to push Section 230 reform Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus cases surge in the Midwest; Trump hits campaign trail after COVID-19 OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA may violate courts with new rule extending life of unlined coal ash ponds | Trump reverses course, approving assistance for California wildfires | Climate change, national security among topics for final Trump-Biden debate MORE (R-Calif.) on Wednesday threatened to introduce a motion to oust Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Schumer labels McConnell's scheduled coronavirus stimulus vote as 'a stunt' Pelosi: White House made 'unacceptable changes' to testing language during negotiations on coronavirus stimulus MORE (D-Calif.) if she attempts to impeach President TrumpDonald John TrumpPolice say man dangling off Trump Tower Chicago demanding to speak with Trump Fauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event Biden: Trump 'continues to lie to us' about coronavirus MORE or Attorney General William BarrBill BarrTrump turns his ire toward Cabinet members Intelligence officials warned Trump that Giuliani was target of Russian influence campaign: report DOJ veteran says he's quitting over Barr's 'slavish obedience' to Trump MORE as a delay tactic to prevent the Senate from confirming Trump's Supreme Court nominee.

Some have pushed for Pelosi to impeach Barr or Trump, for a second time, as a stall tactic to keep empty the seat vacated by the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgFauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Biden owes us an answer on court-packing MORE until after the presidential election. Appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Pelosi said, “We have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now.” 

McCarthy blasted the comments and said he believes the president is correct in moving forward with a nomination ahead of the election. 


“The president is supposed to move forward and they will. The Senate is supposed to take the action and they will — it's their constitutional right and they are following through,” he told reporters at a press briefing on Wednesday. 

“And I will make you this one promise, listening to the Speaker on television this weekend, if she tries to move for an impeachment based upon the president following the Constitution, I think there will be a move on the floor to no longer have the question of her being Speaker. She may think she has a quiver — we do too,” he added.  

Democrats have been highly critical of the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Schumer labels McConnell's scheduled coronavirus stimulus vote as 'a stunt' Pelosi gives White House 48-hour deadline for coronavirus stimulus deal MORE’s (R-Ky.) decision to move forward, arguing they are breaking the precedent they themselves set in blocking the confirmation of former President Obama's nominee Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Biden keeps both sides guessing on court packing Biden town hall questioner worked as speechwriter in Obama administration: report MORE in 2016. Republicans argue that since the White House and the Senate are held by the same party, the circumstances are different and they should proceed. 

Even prior to the Supreme Court vacancy, members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus were advocating for McCarthy to introduce the motion to vacate — essentially a motion to oust the Speaker — with some arguing it could be an effective way to demonstrate to voters that they are pushing back against Pelosi's agenda and critical remarks about Republicans. 

The topic was discussed during a closed-door House Republicans meeting on the upcoming election at the Capitol Hill Club Wednesday morning. Lawmakers emerging from the meeting said the discussion was civil and that McCarthy mostly just listened to the various arguments from the Freedom Caucus and other members. 


"It was civil, and considering we're so many days from Election Day, it was very civil," Rep. Frank LucasFrank Dean LucasTrump administration signs AI research and development agreement with the UK OVERNIGHT ENERGY:  House passes sweeping clean energy bill | Pebble Mine CEO resigns over secretly recorded comments about government officials  | Corporations roll out climate goals amid growing pressure to deliver House passes sweeping clean energy bill MORE (R-Okla.).

But sources in the room said McCarthy also warned colleagues that forcing a floor vote to oust Pelosi before the election could give frontline Democrats, those facing the toughest reelections, a free pass to vote against Pelosi and distance themselves from the Speaker — something that could be politically advantageous for them this fall. 

Freedom Caucus members, including Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), said they did not think McCarthy would pursue the motion to vacate before the election.

Other senior GOP sources said that the likelihood of moving forward is unlikely due to a lack of quorum within the House Republican Conference. 

Scott Wong contributed.