With their backs against the wall, House Republicans are threatening to impeach President Obama if the nation falls victim to the default that they caused.
Here is Rep. Louie Gohmert saying that default is an impeachable offense:
The problem is who Gohmert wants to impeach for this.
Lauren Windsor, a reporter for The Young Turks asked Rep. Gohmert if he would support any deal to raise the debt ceiling. He answered, “It just depends on what it is,” he replied. “The word ‘deal’ concerns me… if it’s good for America.” She followed up by asking, “Would you allow us to default on our debt?” Gohmert replied, “No, that would be an impeachable offense by the president.”
Republicans failed to win the presidency in 2012. All of their legislative efforts to repeal the ACA have failed. The Supreme Court upheld the ACA as constitutional. Their attempts to destroy the healthcare reform law through a government shutdown and threats of default have crashed and burned, so some House Republicans have moved towards the pushing the big red button of impeachment.
Republicans have wanted to impeach this president since the moment that he took office. They have claimed that everything that this president has done is an impeachable offense, but even the most basic understanding of the constitutional separation of powers makes it clear that President Obama can’t be impeached for default. Article I Sec.8 of the Constitution gives the power of the purse to Congress. This means if Congress does not pay our bills, that will be violating the Constitution.
If President Obama tried to raise taxes or borrow money on his own to pay our debts, he would be violating the Constitution. Congress has to pay the bills. What Rep. Gohmert is suggesting is that President Obama should be impeached because House Republicans have violated the Constitution.
As Lloyd Carter wrote, House Republicans are trying to pull a backdoor impeachment, “The dance over the debt ceiling and the fight over the government shutdown are nothing less than impeachment on the cheap: a chance to negate the will of the majority by ostensibly placating the letter of the law. Unable to win the last two presidential elections or to persuade a Supreme Court majority that the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional, House Republicans have arrived at a point where default and closure are the next best things. This combustible brew of race, class, and economic anxieties bubbles all too closely to the surface.”
House Republicans are repeating all of their mistakes of the 1990s. They have already shutdown the government, and now they are threatening to impeach the president. Let’s call any effort to impeach this president over a default what it really would be. A Republican impeachment attempt would be the ultimate publicity move in order to try to blame President Obama for their own crimes.
The only thing left that could make this situation politically worse for Republicans is if they tried to impeach Obama. The current version of the Republican Party appears to be in its death throes, and it’s fitting that their last act may be to illogical attempt to impeach President Barack Obama.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association