WASHINGTON — A months-long GOP campaign to fire Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas collapsed in the House on Tuesday after a trio of Democrats and skeptical Republicans rejected impeachment over his handling of the southern border.
The vote was 214-216, and Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., blamed the Biden administration for record migrant crossings and made border security a key campaign issue. and was a stunning blow to House Republicans.
After the dramatic vote ended in a 215-215 tie, a member of the GOP leadership changed his vote so Republicans could bring the issue up again. If Tuesday’s vote is successful, Mayorkas would be the second impeachment of a Cabinet secretary in U.S. history — and the first in nearly 150 years.
The House impeachment vote ended with GOP lawmakers saying they didn’t know the outcome just minutes before the vote.
Two GOP lawmakers — Representative Ken Buck of Colorado and Tom McClintock of California — declared that they would vote no before voting. Other Republicans, including Rep. Mike Gallagher, who is close to the leadership, expressed doubts about the impeachment vote during the closed-door meeting.
According to a source in the room, Mayorkas’ impeachment would “open Pandora’s box,” Gallagher warned his colleagues. He declined to comment.
McClintock argued floor exit last fall Mayorkas has not committed impeachable crimes, warning that the GOP could open the door to future impeachments by the Democratic Party. A. freed 10 page memo Republicans “can’t define an impeachable offense,” he said Tuesday morning ahead of a vote on his impeachment case.
Buck, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said in a speech Article in The Hill: “To be clear, Secretary Mallorcas failed miserably. He is incompetent. He is a disgrace. And he will likely be remembered as the worst homeland security secretary in US history.
“But the Constitution is clear that impeachment is reserved for ‘treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.’ “Mismanagement or incompetence does not rise to the level of what our founders considered an impeachable crime,” Buck wrote.
The Majorcan vote comes amid a row between the House and Senate over how to deal with a record number of illegal border crossings in a presidential election year. The top four House GOP leaders issued a joint statement opposing a bipartisan Senate deal that would impose tougher asylum and border policies, saying it doesn’t go far enough to curb illegal immigration.
“Considering this Senate bill in its current form is a waste of time. DEAD on arrival in the House,” Speaker Mike Johnson and Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Emmer, Louisiana, and GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik of New York said in a statement.
Democrats and DHS officials have dismissed the GOP’s impeachment push as an election-year political game, arguing that Republicans have no desire to truly address the border crisis.
“This impeachment farce distracts from other important national security priorities, and Congress must see to truly fix our broken immigration laws,” DHS said. memo against impeachment attempts. “They don’t want to solve the problem; they want to campaign about it. So they undermined efforts to reach a bipartisan solution and ignored facts, lawyers and experts, and even the Constitution itself, to impeach Secretary Mallorca without justification.
Impeachment critics also point to comments from key conservative figures blasting the GOP’s impeachment of Mallorcas.
Jonathan Turley, a legal scholar who served as a witness for House Republicans said, “there is no evidence that he was corrupt or that he committed an impeachable crime. … Therefore, the case for the impeachment of Alejandro Mayorkas has not been opened.” And Alan DershowitzMayorkas, who was a defense attorney during the first impeachment of Donald Trump, “did not commit bribery, treason or high crimes and misdemeanors” and declared that Republicans impeached him “based on partisan considerations.”
Conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board He also opposed the impeachment of Majorca.
A week ago, the House Homeland Security Committee, chaired by Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., passed a resolution of impeachment along strictly party lines in an 18-15 vote. The resolution, originally drafted by far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., spells out two articles of impeachment.
The first article accuses Mayorkas of “willfully and systematically” refusing to comply with federal immigration laws. That’s why, he says, “millions of aliens enter the United States illegally each year, and many remain in the United States illegally.”
The second article says Mayorkas “violated the public trust” by making false statements to Congress and knowingly obstructing congressional oversight of DHS.
“The facts don’t lie and the numbers don’t lie and we have the information,” Green, a member of the Homeland Security Council, said in an interview Monday. “After witness testimony, we found that Secretary Mayorkas violated federal immigration law. … He has also completely violated his oath of office.”
Johnson has already indicated who he will select as impeachment managers to investigate the case against Mayorkas in a potential Senate trial. Homeland Security Chairman Green issued a separate resolution naming himself and 10 other GOP executives.
The others are Foreign Affairs Chairman Mike McCall of Texas, formerly the Homeland Security chairman; Representative Michael Guest of Mississippi, Vice Chair of the Homeland Panel; Representative Andrew Garbarino of New York; Texas Representative August Pfluger; Florida Rep. Laurel Lee; and five Freedom Caucus members: Representatives Andy Biggs of Arizona, Clay Higgins of Louisiana, Ben Kline of Virginia, Harriet Hageman of Wyoming, and Greene of Georgia.