As the clock ticked on Tuesday night, the House witnessed an unexpected turn of events during the vote to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas.
Representative Al Green, a Democrat from Texas recovering from abdominal surgery, made a dramatic entrance in a wheelchair, wearing hospital attire, expressing that the vote was “personal” for him.
With three House Republicans already breaking ranks and voting against the resolution, the G.O.P. could not afford any more defections based on the previous attendance.
The vote was crucial for Republicans, who had long promised their base an indictment against Mr. Mayorkas, accusing him of non-compliance with the law and breaching the public trust regarding the surge of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. The tally remained steady, and the resolution might pass along party lines.
In a surprising twist, Representative Al Green cast a decisive vote at the last moment, breaking the tie and resulting in a 215 to 215 deadlock, delivering a stunning defeat to Speaker Mike Johnson.
Mr. Green, known for his repeated defiance of Democratic leadership by advocating for Donald J. Trump’s impeachment during his presidency, shared insights from his hospital bed after the vote.
He emphasized that his determination to cast the vote was premeditated, but he had no prior knowledge of how close the outcome would be. His decision to participate was fueled by personal conviction rather than the assumption that his vote would be a game-changer.
This unforeseen intervention by Mr. Green added a remarkable chapter to his political history, showcasing his persistence and commitment to his convictions.
Despite three unsuccessful attempts to impeach Mr. Trump, this unexpected vote demonstrated Mr. Green’s resilience and his willingness to take a stand, even in challenging health conditions.
The episode highlighted the unpredictable nature of political moments and the potential for individual actions to shape the course of critical votes.