Headline RoundupSeptember 12th, 2023

McCarthy Directs Committees to Open Biden Impeachment Inquiry, Bypassing House Vote

Summary from the AllSides News Team

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) directed three Republican-controlled House committees to begin a formal impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden on Tuesday over suspected involvement in his son’s business dealings.

The Details: The inquiry will be led by Reps. James Comer (R-KY), Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Jason Smith (R-MO). “This logical next step will give our committees the full power to gather all the facts and answers for the American public,” McCarthy said. 

For Context: McCarthy is widely reported to be under pressure from some right-wing House Republicans, who have threatened to block government funding and remove McCarthy as speaker unless their demands, including an impeachment investigation, are met. 

To Vote or Not to Vote: McCarthy’s decision is a reversal of his September 1 assertion that a Biden impeachment inquiry would require a House floor vote. However, some Republicans oppose the inquiry, making it unclear whether a vote would pass. McCarthy was previously an outspoken critic of then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) decision to open the first impeachment inquiry into former President Donald Trump without a floor vote; the House later authorized that inquiry in a 232-196 vote.

How the Media Covered It: Coverage was common across the news media. Some headlines in left-rated outlets contextualized McCarthy as “under threat” from the right or gambling for conservative votes. While some coverage from the right focused on the “allegations,” some coverage from the left directly noted a “lack of evidence implicating the president.”

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