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House Republicans Fail To Impeach Mayorkas

   DailyWire.com
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas delivers remarks during an event at the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) St. Elizabeth's Campus on August 17, 2023 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, House Republicans failed to muster enough support to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of a border crisis fraught with surging illegal crossings and fentanyl poisonings fueled by drug trafficking.

Three GOP lawmakers broke ranks and joined all voting Democrats to defeat a resolution that could have made Mayorkas the first Cabinet secretary to be impeached since 1876. The defectors included Reps. Ken Buck (R-CO), Tom McClintock (R-CA), and Mike Gallagher (R-WI).

The final tally ended up being 214-216, just short of the simple majority needed for success, as House GOP Vice Chairman Blake Moore (R-UT) flipped to a “no” vote at the last moment. Members said Moore changed his vote to break a tie and give Republicans another chance to bring up the impeachment resolution in the future.

Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) was the sole missing vote. He has been out of Washington for several weeks to undergo a stem cell transplant as he battles blood cancer. Rep. Al Green (D-TX), who had missed earlier votes in the day, showed up just in time to cast a “no” vote against impeachment. There are also four vacancies in the House.

It was not immediately clear when Scalise will return to Capitol Hill, but Raj Shah, a spokesman for Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), said House Republicans “fully intend to bring Articles of Impeachment against Secretary Mayorkas back to the floor when we have the votes for passage.”

Timing will be a factor. With New York expected to hold its special election to replace now-former Rep. George Santos (R-NY) next week, the Democrats may soon have another member in their ranks. Other special elections to fill other vacancies will follow in the coming weeks and months.

Mayorkas faced two articles of impeachment, which passed out of committee last week following a months-long investigation. One accused him of “willfully and systemically” refusing to comply with federal immigration laws and the other alleged he “breached the public trust” with false statements and obstructing lawful oversight of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green (R-TN), who led the investigation, had urged his colleagues on both sides of the aisle “to do the right thing, put aside the politics, and agree that before we can fix Secretary Mayorkas’ mess, Congress must finally hold this man accountable.”

Democrats panned the impeachment proceedings as a “political stunt” and the White House went as far as to claim the endeavor is “unconstitutional.” Mayorkas pushed back against what he called “false accusations” levied against him while some of his DHS predecessors voiced opposition to impeachment.

Even if the impeachment push succeeded in the House, it faced long odds in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Still, House Republicans have moved forward with a plan to designate 11 managers with the expectation of a trial — a list that included Rep. Mark Green and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who last year tried to bypass the committee-level impeachment probe to quickly have a vote.

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Among GOP lawmakers who opposed impeachment, there was acknowledgement of problems with border security, but they argued that the issues they have with how the Biden administration has managed the crisis boils down to policy differences rather than impeachable offenses.

“The only way to stop the border invasion is to replace the Biden administration at the ballot box. 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.

As the impeachment endeavor came to a halt, a bipartisan effort in the Senate to pass a bill that sought to couple border security reforms with funds for Ukraine, Israel, and other foreign causes appeared to be on the brink of defeat. That $118 billion package, which Mayorkas helped put together, drew vociferous blowback from many Republicans and a pledge from House GOP leadership not to take it up for a vote.

House Republicans also remain engaged in conducting a corruption-focused impeachment investigation into President Joe Biden.

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