Gov. Tom Wolf wears a mask during a briefing at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management headquarters in Harrisburg. Source: Commonwealth Media Services.
For the second time, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, has introduced impeachment articles against Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.
The five articles claim Wolf unconstitutionally overstepped his executive authority — a claim that’s yet to gain traction with state and federal high courts — and cite issues with unemployment compensation, nursing homes and transparency.
“While Governor Wolf had the legislative delegated authority to declare a disaster emergency related to the COVID-19 outbreak, Governor Wolf did not have the authority to issue subsequent orders … that deprived citizens of this commonwealth of their most basic rights,” the articles say.
Nine lawmakers who sponsored the impeachment resolution last year have yet to sign on to this year’s proposal.
Among the current sponsors is House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rob Kauffman, R-Franklin, whose committee would handle the initial stages of impeachment.
Two members of House Republican leadership — Caucus Chairman George Dunbar, of Westmoreland County, and Policy Chairman Marty Causer, of Potter County — also are sponsors.
Wolf could be impeached with a simple majority vote in the House. Removal would require a two-thirds majority in the state Senate, according to the state constitution.
Wolf isn’t the first Democratic official Metcalfe has proposed impeaching. He also suggested the measure for former Attorney General Kathleen Kane in 2013, and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto in 2019.
While Kane would eventually resign in scandal, Metcalfe originally wanted to impeach her for recusing herself from a defense of a state ban on same-sex marriage. A memo that did gain traction to impeach Kane was sponsored by a different lawmaker.
Instead, Metcalfe’s proposals, as well as last session’s effort on Wolf, went nowhere.
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