Donald Trump continues to wield power over the Republican Party in a way that no other 2024er has been able to penetrate quite yet. As the former president out-fundraises his competition and enjoys wide leads in early voting states like South Carolina and Iowa, the man considered to be his most serious challenger, Gov. Ron DeSantis, is running out of money. Politico reported just this afternoon that the Florida governor is letting one-third of his staff go, reportedly amid concerns over campaign coffers.
And his position of dominance over the party extends beyond the campaign circuit and into Congress.
As my colleague Emine Yucel just reported from the Hill this evening, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has dramatically shifted his tone on impeachment, and a potential impeachment inquiry, in the last 24 hours, as far-right members get louder about their intentions to delay the appropriations process. This of course comes after he rebuffed impeachment talk just a few weeks ago, steering his caucus away from supporting Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-CO) attempt to force an impeachment vote against President Biden. On one hand, this could suggest that far-right members’ attempts to gum up typical government funding legislative processes, thereby threatening a shutdown, may be getting to McCarthy.
But there’s also another potential layer here. While McCarthy has since denied the reporting, Politico reported last week that McCarthy had said he would get the House to vote to expunge the two impeachments against Trump before the August recess. As my colleague Josh Marshall pointed out, that’s not a thing, but Politico also reported that the interest in expungement votes was reportedly driven by McCarthy’s attempts to quell Trump’s anger. Trump has reportedly been irked with the House speaker for weeks for not yet endorsing his 2024 bid.
And so perhaps that’s what’s behind McCarthy’s shift in tone on a Biden impeachment inquiry. DNC leadership certainly thinks so.
“He has made sure the House majority is little more than an arm of his 2024 campaign, and Kevin McCarthy is happy to do his bidding — promising to expunge Trump’s own bipartisan impeachments, and now threatening President Biden with a baseless impeachment to distract from their lack of any meaningful agenda and Trump’s own significant challenges,” DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison said in a statement Tuesday.
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