by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
House Republicans unanimously passed an impeachment inquiry, an act that allows them greater power to investigate President Joe Biden’s and his family’s business practices.
In the Wednesday afternoon vote, all 221 Republicans in the House supported adopting the impeachment-inquiry resolution, while 212 Democrats opposed the measure. At least 218 votes were needed to pass the resolution, which was introduced by Representative Kelly Armstrong (R., N.D.) last week.
“Today, the House took a critical step in our investigation into serious matters involving President Joe Biden by formally opening an impeachment inquiry. As President Biden continues to stonewall lawful Congressional subpoenas, today’s vote of the full House of Representatives authorizing the inquiry puts us in the strongest position to enforce these subpoenas in court,” Speaker Mike Johnson (R., La.) said in a joint statement with Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R., La.), Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R., Minn.), and Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.).
The anticipated vote comes after then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) launched the presidential impeachment inquiry in September, an informal move that Democrats and the White House have decried as unconstitutional and politically motivated.
House Judiciary chairman Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), whose committee has helped lead the investigation of President Biden’s alleged involvement in his son’s foreign influence-peddling schemes, told reporters last week that nothing in the Constitution prevents a House speaker from opening an impeachment inquiry without a full House vote.
“Constitutionally, it’s not required. Speaker said we’re [in] an impeachment inquiry, [then] we’re in an impeachment inquiry,” Jordan said.
On Tuesday, he reiterated that an official impeachment-inquiry resolution would give Republican-led committees more legal weight when filing subpoenas against the Biden family and their close business associates.
“We think a formal vote of the majority of the House, on record, for a power that solely resides with the House — that helps us if, in fact, we’ve got to go to court,” said Jordan.