U.S. House Speaker John Boehner doesn’t want to impeach President Barack Obama. His plan to sue the president is a gambit to appease Republicans bent on fighting the president’s alleged failure “to faithfully execute the laws.” At this week’s meeting of the House GOP caucus, both Boehner and Greg Walden, head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, urged colleagues not to talk about impeachment, saying such talk only helps Democrats. Today, Boehner assured a roomful of reporters, “We have no plans to impeach the president,” claiming that such speculation was “all a scam started by Democrats at the White House.”
There’s no question Democrats have been hyping the impeachment speculation, to remarkably successful effect. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee took in $2 million over four days from e-mail appeals warning of Republican plans to oust the president.
But it’s a stretch for Boehner to claim Democrats dreamed up the impeachment “scam.” Dave Weigel posted a good overview of Republicans inside and outside Congress calling for impeachment within the past year, and especially within the past month.
Just a few days ago, Iowa’s own Representative Steve King predicted House Republicans will be motivated to launch impeachment proceedings if President Obama uses executive orders to give “amnesty” to undocumented immigrants. After the jump I’ve posted excerpts from those comments, as well as King’s latest op-ed piece on immigration policy (which does not mention impeachment).
To put it mildly, King and Boehner don’t always see eye to eye on political messaging. With House leadership strongly opposed, I’m skeptical Republicans aligned with King would be able to force a vote on articles of impeachment, let alone pass such a measure. Too many people remember how calls to impeach President Bill Clinton backfired during the 1998 midterm elections. But it’s worth noting that House Republicans proceeded with efforts to remove Clinton despite the verdict voters delivered in 1998. A recent national poll indicated that even as Obama’s approval ratings remain low, two-thirds of Americans oppose impeaching him. The same poll suggested that a majority of Republican respondents favor impeachment.
What do you think, Bleeding Heartland readers? Any relevant comments are welcome in this thread.
P.S. – Great piece by Lynda Waddington on King saying, in effect, that Obama can’t feel true patriotism because “he was not raised with an American experience.”
UPDATE: Added new comments from King below. He isn’t currently pushing for impeachment but thinks the president might want to be impeached because of a narcissistic personality and “messiah complex.”
Appearing on Breitbart News Saturday with co-hosts Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon and Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow from the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas, King said that if Obama “completely destroys the rule of law with the stroke of a pen” and “Congress fails to act,” there will be “enough Republicans who didn’t have a desire to do this” that will be “immediately activated” to consider impeachment.
“From my standpoint, if the president [enacts more executive actions], we need to bring impeachment hearings immediately before the House of Representatives,” King said. “That’s my position and that’s my prediction.”
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has given Obama a six-page wish list of executive actions, and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) said Obama may give temporary amnesty and work permits to five million more illegal immigrants by expanding the Deferred Amnesty for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to the parents of illegal immigrants. King called that program lawless and unconstitutional.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has even recommended that Obama give amnesty, by executive fiat, to every illegal immigrant who would have received it under the Senate’s comprehensive amnesty bill. […]
King said Obama’s bold executive actions “would cause a thunderclap of eruption in Congress and from the American people” that Republicans will not be able to ignore. After calling illegal immigration “a virus that is eating away at the rule of law,” King also denounced Obama’s lawlessness that is “erasing our border” and “putting pressure on social services” while the country borrows even more money from China to finance its debt.
Steve King’s July 25 press release, “Man Caused Disaster” On the Southern Border:
The clarion call has sounded from President Obama and the pundits residing in Washington D.C. that Congress should “do something.” Lost in this theory of governing by crisis, is that President Obama’s actions created this historic calamity on the border. This is a “man caused disaster” and the man who caused it is Barack Obama.
Waiting for President Obama to enforce the law is akin to waiting for Godot. President Obama is as likely to secure the border as he is to build the Keystone XL Pipeline. We are looking at two and a half long years of watching hundreds of thousands, even millions, of illegal immigrants flood our country and our services unless we find a way to circumvent the feckless will of the president and secure the border even, if need be, against his will. The only other authorities with the ability to secure the border are the border state governors. It is time for Congress to call upon the border state governors to call out their national guard to secure our national border. Governors have the power to do so under Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution.
Current legislative tactics have been to react to a crisis by pushing for urgent action, too often without careful consideration. This tactic generally includes a “package” filled with varied pieces of legislation that may or may not survive scrutiny on their own. This approach is usually designed to garner votes and to provide cover for Members of Congress who do not want to be on record for particular proposals or who want to be seen as “doing something.” Such a package would have no chance to pass the Senate or to be enacted into law. Senate Democrats would likely load it up with Gang of Eight amnesty provisions, virtually guaranteeing its failure.
The stakes are too high to simply create a package for the sake of doing something. We need to concentrate on real fixes. The House needs to bring narrow individual proposals up for consideration, a vote, and them send them to the Senate. I propose the House implement a four part strategy, one for each legislative day of the last week before the annual August break. Each would be designed to actually address sovereignty and the open border crisis centered now at McAllen, Texas.
On Monday, our first piece of legislation should be a House Resolution, closely drafted to the principles laid out in a new resolution by Rep.Trent Franks, reflecting the points compiled in a House Judiciary memo by Chairman Bob Goodlatte. In short, the president’s lawless DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) policy and the constant promise of full amnesty is the cause of the calamity. He can end this crisis by rescinding the policies and restoring the Rule of Law. The resolution should also include a call on the border state governors to secure the borders with the commitment of the House to fund their effort.
On Tuesday, the House should bring to the floor a supplemental appropriation bill to directly fund border states who call up their national guard to secure the border. We are learning that there are jobs an American president won’t do, among them are the jobs of enforcing the law and securing the border. Since the president won’t secure our border, let’s fund the governors who will. I have introduced H Res. 675 supporting the Constitutional authority of our governors to call up the National Guard to defend their border. Congress can empower them with funds to assist in the effort. This necessary action is a funding obligation of the federal government.
On Wednesday, the House should take up and pass a simple fix to the 2008 Human Trafficking bill which was passed without a recorded vote by a Democrat House and Senate on the last day of the 110th Congress and after last votes when most Members had left town for Christmas. This Act is not the cause of the crisis on our border but it does contribute to the problem. President Obama supported a fix to the “non contiguous” language in this law before open borders amnesty advocates convinced him to reverse his position. It makes no sense to treat all unaccompanied minors as trafficking victims when they or their parents are those who are hiring the coyotes to transport them in the first place. When one hires a human trafficker to traffic themselves or a family member, they cannot be automatically declared a “victim” of their own actions.
On Thursday, we need to deal with the asylum issue and creation of a mechanism for expedited processing of the aliens already here. It is vital to ensure this process does not turn into an assembly line of amnesty. There are some excellent ideas that have emerged from the working group led by Rep. Granger of Texas. We do need very temporary housing, nothing better than the canvas resources that are good enough for our military. Electronic “Skype” type hearings can utilize judicial resources from all across the country. “Last in, first out” can send the right message of deterrence to the home countries. Orderly and swift adjudication while containing aliens as close to the border as possible will produce the best results.
All of these proposals are unlikely to pass the Senate where Harry Reid has held up over 300 other House bills. Regardless, the United States House of Representatives owes it to the American people to provide solutions to this “man caused disaster”. If the proposed work of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday should be enacted into law, we can expect the border to be secured by the states. If the proposed work for Thursday becomes law, we can expect to begin to clean up the mess of a human tragedy created by lawless policy. “The president may then revisit the Constitution he once taught, “He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
UPDATE: Here’s some unintentional comedy from King’s July 28 appearance on Steve Malzberg’s Newsmax TV program:
While King says he is not yet ready to call for impeachment, he says the commander in chief may want that, to become a martyr in the eyes of his supporters.
“I just started to digest the thought process of what it would be like to think that, well, I’m the president of the United States, and go ahead and impeach me and that’ll make me a martyr,” King said.
“It’s part of the messiah complex that that president has … The most extreme narcissist you could ever find would be somebody that would say, ‘Go ahead and crucify me in the House of Representatives, but I’ve got eternal life in the United States Senate.
”’So, it’ll make me into the martyr that I need to be, and history will look at me benevolently and kindly and we will put tens of millions of illegal aliens into America who are undocumented Democrats and we will start the process to document them and thereby convert America into a leftist state in perpetuity.”’