House Republicans Impeach Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas Amidst Partisan Divide

House GOP impeaches Mayorkas after previous vote failure

House Republicans impeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday, marking the first time a Cabinet secretary faced such action since 1876.

Following an initial attempt that failed, causing frustration within GOP ranks, Mayorkas was successfully impeached in a subsequent vote, with a narrow margin of 214-213.

However, the Senate is expected to overlook this move, as Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office plans to present the articles following the upcoming recess, with a swift dismissal anticipated. Lawmakers foresee a brief trial, with little time spent deliberating the charges of breaching public trust and disregarding the law.

Three Republicans broke ranks during the impeachment process: Representatives Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), Ken Buck (R-Colo.), and Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), who maintained their opposition from the previous week. Nevertheless, GOP leaders managed to resurrect the articles against Mayorkas upon Majority Leader Steve Scalise’s (R-La.) return from medical treatment.

House Republicans Impeach Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas Amidst Partisan Divide
House Republicans Impeach Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas Amidst Partisan Divide (Credits: CNBC)

The impeachment vote coincided with Republicans’ efforts to retain the vacated seat of former Rep. George Santos. Losing this seat would likely have postponed the impeachment until later special elections this year.

This successful impeachment concludes months of Republican endeavors to oust Mayorkas, which gained momentum after the setback of Representative Al Green’s unexpected vote against impeachment last week. Despite acknowledging internal challenges, Republicans swiftly reaffirmed their commitment to impeaching the Homeland Security chief upon Scalise’s return.

The GOP has long viewed border security as a galvanizing issue within their party and a potent tool against Democrats, particularly as the midterm elections approach. Their persistent push for Mayorkas’s impeachment, alongside stalling a bipartisan border plan in the Senate, underscores the heightened partisan divide on addressing migrant influxes.

In a post-vote statement, Speaker Mike Johnson asserted that Mayorkas “deserves to be impeached,” citing his perceived failure to fulfill his Senate-confirmed duties.

Despite concerted efforts by GOP leadership to rally support for Mayorkas’s impeachment, the outcome remained uncertain. Several Republicans wavered in their stance until the last moments before the vote, with Gallagher, Buck, and McClintock ultimately siding against impeachment alongside full Democratic attendance.

Gallagher’s subsequent announcement of retirement and Buck’s decision to leave the House after this term highlight potential repercussions within the party.

The GOP’s impeachment drive has drawn criticism from the administration, traditional GOP allies, and congressional Democrats. President Joe Biden condemned House Republicans for what he termed a “blatant act of unconstitutional partisanship.”

The Department of Homeland Security, in a memo issued Tuesday, urged Republicans to heed constitutional concerns and cease pursuing what they deemed a “pointless, unconstitutional impeachment” of Mayorkas.

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