House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHouse passes bill that would give legal status to thousands of undocumented farmworkers College Republicans launch campaign calling for GOP to take action on climate change Pelosi’s whiplash moment brings praise and criticism MORE (R-Calif.) said he is confident there won’t be any Republican defections when the articles of impeachment come to the floor, but he expects a number of Democrats to buck party lines and vote against them.
The California Republican noted that the party unanimously voted against the impeachment procedure resolution in October, with two Democrats also having voted against it. McCarthy said he doesn’t think any of the information that has emerged from the hearings will move the needle on the whip count among Republicans.
“I don’t think there’s a need to whip the vote. If you watched impeachment inquiry, the only bipartisan vote was no. If you watch [what] has come forth since that, there’s no reason to change that vote,” he told reporters at a press conference on Thursday.
“And if I read the reports from the Democrats, there’s more that’s good to join us,” he added.
McCarthy said he believes Democratic leadership faces a bigger hurdle in keeping their members together on the vote, noting moderates in swing districts have expressed hesitations about supporting the articles on the floor. He pointed to an article citing a Democrat on background stating they don’t see evidence of an impeachable offense.
“I remember reading an article just last week where [a] Democrat moderate member was on record saying, ‘For me right now I’m struggling to see how the evidence supports impeachment.’ Really think your question should lie with the other side of the aisle,” he said.
“Because I think they’re the ones that have a challenge, and how hard they’re trying to hold their members to do something based upon different than the facts and evidence, and what they truly believe,” he continued.
“It’s interesting that this Democrat makes this statement but will not let you write the name, for fear of reprisal from the Speaker of the House,” MCarthy told reporters. “And I imagine she would as she planned this for 22 months.”
The articles of impeachment are expected to come to the floor next week, and will likely pass along party lines.
House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseGOP calls for minority hearing on impeachment, threatens procedural measures Lighthizer starts GOP charm offensive on Trump trade deal Pelosi announces support for new Trump NAFTA deal MORE (R-La.) is expected whip members against impeachment on the floor on Thursday.