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

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyBiden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear Congressional leaders present Biden, Harris with flags flown during inauguration Biden urges Americans to join together in appeal for unity MORE (R-Calif.) on Wednesday threatened to introduce a motion to oust Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP operative installed as NSA top lawyer placed on administrative leave: reports Budowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Biden taps career civil servants to acting posts at State, USAID, UN MORE (D-Calif.) if she attempts to impeach President TrumpDonald TrumpClinton, Bush, Obama reflect on peaceful transition of power on Biden's Inauguration Day Arizona Republican's brothers say he is 'at least partially to blame' for Capitol violence Biden reverses Trump's freeze on .4 billion in funds MORE or Attorney General William BarrBill BarrBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Two-thirds say the election was fair: poll The Hill's Morning Report - An inauguration like no other 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 GinsburgSchumer becomes new Senate majority leader Ruth Bader Ginsburg, George Floyd among options for 'Remember the Titans' school's new name Bipartisan anger builds over police failure at Capitol 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 McConnellBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Biden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear McConnell faces conservative backlash over Trump criticism 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 GarlandBiden's new challenge: Holding Trump accountable Graham says he'll back Biden's CIA pick A Democratic agenda for impossibly hard times 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 LucasREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA revises lead rule, sidestepping calls for more stringent standards | In massive energy investments, some see just a start OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA revises lead rule, sidestepping calls for more stringent standards | In massive energy investments, some see just a start 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.