Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell'Justice for J6' rally puts GOP in awkward spot Republicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally House to act on debt ceiling next week MORE (Ky.) on Wednesday shot down calls from within his own party to try to impeach President BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE, pointing to next year's midterm election as a potential check on the administration.
"Well, look, the president is not going to be removed from office. There's a Democratic House, a narrowly Democratic Senate. That's not going to happen," McConnell said at an event in Kentucky, asked if Biden's handling of the drawdown in Afghanistan merits impeachment and if he would support it.
"There isn't going to be an impeachment," he added.
McConnell's comments come as some Republicans in the House and Senate call for Biden's impeachment or for him to resign or be involuntarily removed from office over the botched Afghanistan exit.
Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Tight security for Capitol rally; Biden agenda slows Trump offers sympathy for those charged with Jan. 6 offenses Lindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees MORE (R-S.C.) said last week that he thought Biden should be impeached. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who chairs the Senate GOP campaign arm, questioned if it was time to invoke the 25th Amendment, which allows the majority of the Cabinet or a body appointed by the Congress to remove a president.
Sens. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleySenators slow Biden with holds at Pentagon, State Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE (R-Mo.) and Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack Overnight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens US gymnasts offer scathing assessment of FBI MORE (R-Tenn.) both called for Biden to resign and House conservatives, including some of former President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE's biggest allies, have called for Biden to be impeached.
McConnell's comments aren't the first time he's pushed back on impeachment calls. Asked late last month if he agreed with Rep. Marjorie Taylor GreeneMarjorie Taylor GreeneGOP efforts to downplay danger of Capitol riot increase The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she's meeting with Trump 'soon' in Florida MORE (R-Ga.), who filed three impeachment articles, that Biden should be impeached, McConnell told a Kentucky TV station: "No."
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyDemocrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol 'Justice for J6' rally puts GOP in awkward spot MORE (R-Calif.) has also stopped short of embracing impeachment calls, while predicting that a GOP-controlled House would probe Biden's Afghanistan exit and that there would be a "day of reckoning."
After Democrats twice impeached Trump, first in 2020 for abuse of power in his dealings with Ukraine and again in 2021 for inciting an insurrection after a mob of his supporters breached the Capitol, GOP strategists have predicted that Biden is likely to face impeachment calls if Republicans take back the House next year.
If a GOP-controlled House were to impeach Biden, it could eat up precious floor time in the Senate where trials typically take weeks and grind all other business to a halt. No president has been formally found guilty at the end of a Senate trial.
McConnell, instead of looking ahead to 2023, pointed to the midterm elections, where Republicans are feeling increasingly bullish about the chances of winning back the House or Senate, as an opportunity to hold Biden accountable.
"The report card you get is every two years," McConnell said. "I think the way these behaviors get adjusted in this country is at the ballot box."
To win back the House, Republicans need to pick up a handful of seats and need a net gain of just one seat to flip the Senate.
"I do think we're likely to see a typical kind of midterm reaction to a new administration. ... Typically there is some buyer's remorse," he said.