Speaker Johnson Faces Crisis After Mayorkas Vote Fails?

A Crisis for Speaker Johnson After Failed Mayorkas Vote?

In a significant blow to Speaker Johnson’s standing within the GOP, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives faltered on Tuesday night in their attempt to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, with a vote tally of 214–216. This outcome followed months of House Republicans vehemently criticizing Mayorkas for what they saw as his incompetence in addressing illegal immigration.

Despite immigration and border security emerging as pivotal issues leading up to the 2024 election, Republicans appeared to stumble in their efforts. As anticipated, Democrats unanimously voted against the charges, with Representative Al Green of Texas even rushing from hospital treatment for emergency surgery to cast his “No” vote.

The unified front presented by the Democrats showcased a level of party discipline and cohesion. However, three Republicans—Representatives Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, Ken Buck of Colorado, and Tom McClintock of California—broke ranks to vote against impeachment.

Speaker Johnson Faces Crisis After Mayorkas Vote Fails
Speaker Johnson Faces Crisis After Mayorkas Vote Fails (Credits: CNN)

Representative Blake Moore of Utah switched his vote to “No,” potentially paving the way for another impeachment attempt against Mayorkas. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise’s absence due to medical issues further complicated the vote.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene characterized the situation as akin to a strategic game, attributing the Republicans’ loss to the Democrats’ adept maneuvering, particularly with Green’s eleventh-hour vote.

While the impeachment effort would have faced inevitable defeat in the Democrat-controlled Senate, the speaker’s inability to secure sufficient support for such a high-profile vote raises concerns. The longstanding discontent within the House Republican Conference towards its leadership, dating back to the 1990s, is a well-documented phenomenon.

Compounding the challenges, some representatives who voted against impeachment had previously voiced their opposition. For example, Representative McClintock had publicly denounced attempts to impeach Mayorkas as “reckless, partisan, and unserious” just last November.

The failure to impeach Mayorkas was not the only setback for Speaker Johnson this week. A bill championed by Johnson to increase military aid to Israel, separate from assistance to Ukraine or other budgetary items, was decisively rejected by a vote of 250-180. These developments occasionally raise questions about the effectiveness of the Republican majority in the House.

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