House votes to impeach DHS Secretary Mayorkas over border crisis

14 February 2024
House votes to impeach DHS Secretary Mayorkas over border crisis

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has been impeached by the House of Representatives.

A Cabinet secretary has not been impeached by the U.S. Congress since 1876.

Tuesday evening’s vote marked House Republicans’ second attempt at impeaching Mayorkas. GOP lawmakers targeted the Biden official over the ongoing migrant crisis at the U.S. border, accusing him of deliberately flaunting existing immigration law and worsening the situation.

The 214-213 vote was always expected to be tight; Mayorkas narrowly escaped impeachment last week when every single House Democrat showed up to shield him, including Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, who temporarily left the hospital where he was recovering from surgery to cast his vote.

Three Republicans also voted down the effort – Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., Ken Buck, R-Colo., and Tom McClintock, R-Calif.

Each criticized Mayorkas’ handling of the border but had reservations over whether it rose to the level of impeachment. McClintock warned it could set a precedent for political impeachments that could harm GOP officials in the future.

“Swapping one leftist for another is a fantasy, solves nothing, excuses Biden’s culpability, and unconstitutionally expands impeachment that someday will bite Republicans,” McClintock said last week.

However, Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., dismissed any concerns about precedent in comments to reporters hours before the vote on Tuesday.

“Mayorkas is an exceptional case in U.S. history,” Johnson said, accusing him of having done more “damage on the country than any Cabinet secretary that’s ever been.”

He also addressed the very likely scenario that the impeachment would go nowhere in the Democrat-held Senate.

“The House has a constitutional responsibility, as I’ve said many times. It’s probably the heaviest next to a declaration of war. And we have to do our job regardless of what the other chamber does,” Johnson said.

Two impeachment articles were approved against Mayorkas by the House Homeland Security Committee. One accused him of having “refused to comply with Federal immigration laws” and the other of having violated “public trust.”

The Department of Homeland Security criticized House Republicans for holding a second Mayorkas impeachment vote on Tuesday, citing comments by GOP lawmakers who have called the effort a waste of time.

“House Republicans’ baseless push to impeach Secretary Mayorkas has already failed once, with bipartisan opposition. If Members of Congress care about our national security, they should listen to their fellow Republicans and stop wasting time on this pointless, unconstitutional impeachment – time that could be spent addressing the issue by advancing bipartisan legislation to fix our broken immigration laws and provide needed resources for border security,” the department said.

A DHS spokesperson said House Republicans “will be remembered by history for trampling on the Constitution for political gain rather than working to solve the serious challenges at our border.”

“While Secretary Mayorkas was helping a group of Republican and Democratic Senators develop bipartisan solutions to strengthen border security and get needed resources for enforcement, House Republicans have wasted months with this baseless, unconstitutional impeachment,” the spokesperson said.

“Without a shred of evidence or legitimate Constitutional grounds, and despite bipartisan opposition, House Republicans have falsely smeared a dedicated public servant who has spent more than 20 years enforcing our laws and serving our country. Secretary Mayorkas and the Department of Homeland Security will continue working every day to keep Americans safe.”

President Joe Biden said, “history will not look kindly on House Republicans for their blatant act of unconstitutional partisanship that has targeted an honorable public servant in order to play petty political games.”

“This impeachment already failed on a bipartisan vote. Instead of staging political stunts like this, Republicans with genuine concerns about the border should want Congress to deliver more border resources and stronger border security.”

Source: foxnews

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