Subscribe to Inside Washington’s daily email to receive exclusive coverage and analysis of the United States directly in your inbox.
Receive our complimentary email newsletter, Inside Washington!
The attempt by House Republicans to impeach Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas was unsuccessful.
The impeachment attempt was rejected with a vote of 216 to 214, as four Republicans sided with the Democrats. Representatives Ken Buck from Colorado, Mike Gallagher from Wisconsin, and Tom McClintock from California voted against the resolution.
Republican Representative Blake Moore from Utah switched his vote from approval to disapproval during the voting process. This was a procedural tactic used to give the Republican majority the option to review the measure at a later time, following House regulations.
The most recent instance of a cabinet member being impeached was in 1876, which was 148 years ago. Mr. Mayorkas was accused of not upholding the current laws regarding immigration into the United States and impeding a House Republican investigation into the Department of Homeland Security’s policies. However, because the Democrats hold the majority in the Senate, it was highly improbable that Mr. Mayorkas would be convicted.
Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, a Republican from Florida, stated to The Independent that the vote will be brought up again next week and is expected to pass. She also mentioned that Rep. Steve Scalise, a fellow Republican, was not present due to receiving cancer treatment and his support would ensure the bill’s passage.
Additionally, she inquired about the decision to remove former Republican New York Representative George Santos, which added to the limited majority of House Republicans.
Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene stated to The Independent, “We plan to reintroduce it next week. The Democrats used all their allotted votes, which were all no votes. However, we were missing Steve Scalise, so we can resubmit this for another vote on the floor.”
She stated that she believes the Republicans who opposed the impeachment will receive feedback from their constituents and, hopefully, reconsider their stance over the weekend.
According to Mr. Buck’s statement to The Independent, he believes that the measure will be successfully passed on Wednesday, with Mr. Scalise returning to the chamber.
“I believe you have been granted the vote due to the widespread anger, frustration, and dissatisfaction among many Americans regarding current events. The purpose of this vote is to acknowledge their grievances,” he stated, but also noted, “However, I do not believe it is appropriate to hold an impeachment vote on a bill solely meant for communication purposes.”
Mr. Mayorkas oversees border control and immigration policies, including the asylum process and the potential detention of migrants. As a result, numerous Republicans consider him the main target for their anger towards the significant increase in border crossings. However, they have faced difficulty in presenting proof that Mr. Mayorkas committed serious offenses – the constitutional requirement for impeachment.
According to Democratic Representative Gregorio Casar of Texas, it is disheartening that there are not more individuals willing to oppose the Marjorie Taylor Greene faction within the party.
He stated that House Republicans are not making an effort to present any impeachable offenses.
He expressed surprise that this is not considered a common occurrence.
Republican Representative Dan Meuser stated to The Independent that Alejandro Mayorkas has committed numerous impeachable offenses. He also expressed frustration over the state of the border, where people are losing their lives due to Mayorkas’ failure to enforce existing laws.
“Now, it is Joe Biden’s responsibility. He is in charge, but … if he had any sense of integrity, he would step down,” he stated.
The White House has consistently criticized the Republican-led impeachment attempt against Mr. Mayorkas as being insignificant and lacking legal or constitutional basis. Aides to Mr. Biden have referred to a recent Washington Post article that condemns the proceedings as damaging to the House and not effective in securing the border.
The Office of Management and Budget also released an official statement expressing the Biden administration’s strong opposition to the impeachment resolution. They stated that the resolution does not meet the constitutional requirements for impeachable offenses and is being misused by members of the opposing political party to target Executive Branch officials over policy disagreements.
The budget office referred to Mr. Mayorkas as a “Cuban immigrant who arrived in the US with his family as political refugees.” They also noted that he has dedicated over 20 years to serving his country with distinction and integrity in a successful career in law enforcement and public service.
“In his tenure at the Justice Department as a US Attorney, and now as Deputy Secretary and Secretary of Homeland Security, he has consistently upheld the rule of law and shown a strong dedication to the principles that make our country great. Impeaching Secretary Mayorkas would be an unprecedented and unconstitutional form of political retaliation, without addressing the issues our nation faces in securing our borders,” the statement read.
The statement from the OMB stated that the reasons given by the House for impeachment are not supported by law or fact. It also warned that impeaching Mr. Mayorkas would minimize the seriousness of this constitutional power and could lead to further partisan misuse of this authority in the future. Additionally, it would not address the issues we are facing in securing our nation’s borders or provide the necessary resources that the President has repeatedly requested for Border Patrol agents, immigration judges, and advanced technology to combat fentanyl at the border.
According to White House representative Ian Sams, there is a bipartisan consensus that the impeachment effort is unfounded and unconstitutional, as evidenced by Tuesday’s vote totals.
The speaker stated that House Republicans should acknowledge that their extreme political tactics are not productive and should instead collaborate with the President, Secretary Mayorkas, and members of both parties to find effective solutions that enhance border security.
The unsuccessful impeachment vote occurred following a strong rejection by House Republicans of a bipartisan deal reached in the Senate. This deal would have implemented more stringent border security measures and limitations on legal immigration in return for providing aid to Ukraine and Israel, along with funding for other important national security initiatives.
Before the vote, Representative Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Texas who represents a district on the border, stated to The Independent that Republicans are claiming they want to impeach him for not fulfilling his duties, yet they are also rejecting a bill aimed at securing the border.
According to Democratic Representative Rosa DeLauro from Connecticut, the impeachment vote was a deliberate political maneuver.
She stated that there is no justification and no evidence of serious wrongdoing. Therefore, it is simply a matter of biased political motives.
“The main issue with this group is their inability to effectively govern. Despite their claims of wanting a bipartisan solution for the border, they are unable to follow through and reject any proposals presented by the Senate.”
“I believe this serves as a valuable lesson for Democrats, as we are not truly negotiating with trustworthy counterparts on the Republican side regarding immigration matters.”
According to him, ten years ago, the leaders of Congress had the power to impact immigration matters. However, now it seems that we are far removed from having such discussions.
Mr. Casar stated to The Independent on Tuesday night that the belief that the so-called Senate deal would decrease migration is incorrect. He also claimed that the foundation of the negotiation and the Mayorkas impeachment have been flawed from the start.
He expressed a desire for the only positive outcome from recent events and unsuccessful discussions to be a serious discourse about the current situation in the Western Hemisphere.
The approval of funding by Congress is necessary to implement new programs and policies that aim to address existing deficiencies in the system. This includes initiatives that were part of the bipartisan proposal dismissed by House Republicans, who seem to be using the impeachment process to shift attention towards unproven accusations against President Joe Biden and Mr. Mayorkas.
The impeachment trial of Mr. Biden also did not reveal any significant accusations of misconduct by the president.
Recent polling shows that the Republican party is primarily driven by immigration issues, while Democrats and independents also consider it a significant concern.
The Democratic party has stated that the impeachment proceedings are driven by political motives and intended to divert attention from the legal issues facing former President Donald Trump.
Prior to the vote for impeachment, several Republicans expressed their discontent with the proceedings.
Senator Thom Tillis from North Carolina expressed concerns about the quick implementation of impeachment without thorough research, in an interview with The Hill at the end of last month.
In a letter on Tuesday, Mr. McClintock stated that he does not support the impeachment of Mr. Mayorkas. He posed the question, “Do Republicans truly want to set a precedent for broad impeachment that could potentially be used against conservative members of the Supreme Court or a future Republican president in the event that Congress shifts control?”