Would impeaching Trump slow down Biden push for coronavirus relief?

Top items on Biden’s to-do list: confirming Cabinet nominees and passing a major COVID-19 relief package

House Democrats are moving full speed ahead with plans to impeach President Trump over his role in sparking last Wednesday’s assault on the Capitol by Trump supporters.

But the move by House Democrats – which would force a Senate impeachment trial – could have potential repercussions for President-elect Joe Biden and his incoming administration, which takes power in nine days.

Such a trial – which likely wouldn't start before Jan. 20,  the date of Biden’s inauguration – could delay the Senate confirmation of the president-elect’s Cabinet nominations. And it could slow down congressional passage of the item at the top of Biden’s to-do list: a major coronavirus relief bill.

The Senate could also potentially wait a few months to hold the trial, in order to act first on Biden's first 100 days priorities. Biden on Friday declined to weigh in on the move by House Democrats to impeach Trump.


On Monday he said he hopes that the Senate would be able to do both. "Can we go a half day on dealing with the impeachment and a half day getting my people nominated and confirmed in the Senate as well as moving on the package," he said. "So that’s my hope and expectation."

Asked if that's feasible, Biden told reporters "I haven’t gotten an answer from the parliamentarian yet."

But he did mention that he's "been speaking to some of my Republican colleagues about being able to move on a second package sooner than later."

And he highlighted that his "priority is to get first and foremost a stimulus bill passed and secondly to rebuild the economy."

The president-elect said that he had a discussion on Monday with "some folks in the House and the Senate" and that he had lay his plans out in greater detail on Thursday.

On Friday, Biden said Trump "isn't fit to hold the job” as president.

But asked about impeachment, he said, "I'm focused on the virus, the vaccine and economic growth. What the Congress decides to do is for them to decide," when asked by reporters if he supported such moves.

President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, to announce key administration posts. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

"We’re going to do our job, and the Congress can decide how to proceed with theirs," he added. "That's a decision for the Congress to make. I'm focused on my job."

Incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Friday that “a precondition to bringing the country together is Trump getting out of office. The fastest way that’s going to happen is for the president-elect to be inaugurated in 12 days.”


But Psaki didn’t bite when asked during a conference call with reporters if the incoming administration was concerned that impeaching Trump would get in the way of Biden’s agenda.

“I don’t think I’m going to weigh into the game of [whether it’s] helpful or hurtful,” she answered.


But a source close to Biden’s transition team told Fox News that such concerns do exist among leading aides to the incoming president, noting that getting the Biden agenda passed with razor-thin Democratic majorities in the House and Senate was already a challenge even before adding a Trump impeachment into the mix.