Mayorkas Impeachment Effort Fails on House Floor in Blow to GOP Leaders

Four Republicans voted with Democrats to tank the effort in a defeat to Speaker Mike Johnson.

House Republicans failed Tuesday in their effort to impeach Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas for refusing to enforce multiple U.S. immigration laws after two hours of hard-hitting floor debate, despite earlier in the day having won a key procedural vote.

The motion to approve two Articles of Impeachment against Mr. Mayorkas was rejected with 214 members voting for it and 216 opposing it. Among the opposing votes were those cast by Republican Reps. Ken Buck of Colorado, Tom McClintock of California, Blake Moore of Utah, and Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin. Mr. Moore changed his vote in order to preserve a future parliamentary opportunity to reconsider the vote.

When the five minutes officially allotted for the vote expired, the count was a deadlock at 215 to 215, with one member not voting, House Majority Leader Steven Scalise (R-La.), who is absent while undergoing medical treatment for blood cancer.

The chamber erupted with Democratic applause when Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) announced the tally. Mr. Johnson had pushed to hold the impeachment vote “as soon as possible.”

The prior procedural vote was on whether to accept the closed rule recommended late Monday by the House Rules Committee. Under that rule, no amendments or points of order were allowed on one of the most contentious issues confronting the lower chamber during the 118th Congress. The vote on the rule was 216 Republicans in favor and 209 Democrats opposed, with three members from each party not voting.

The two Articles of Impeachment were reported to the floor last week by the House Committee on Homeland Security on a straight-party line vote. Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.), that panel’s chairman, was the floor manager for impeachment during the two-hour debate. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the panel’s ranking member, was floor manager for the impeachment opposition.

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Article I of the measure accused Mr. Mayorkas of a “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and claims that “in large part because of his unlawful conduct, millions of aliens have illegally entered the United States on an annual basis with many unlawfully remaining in the United States.”

“His refusal to obey the law is not only an offense against the separation of powers in the Constitution of the United States, it also threatens our national security and has had a dire impact on communities across the country,” it reads.

Article II accused Mr. Mayorkas of breaching the public trust by having “knowingly made false statements, and knowingly obstructed lawful oversight of the Department of Homeland Security [DHS], principally to obfuscate the results of his willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law.”

EAGLE PASS, TEXAS - JANUARY 08: U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas holds a press conference at a U.S. Border Patrol station on January 08, 2024 in Eagle Pass, Texas. Mayorkas visited Texas border areas where large numbers of migrants had been crossing over the Rio Grande from Mexico just weeks before. The number has recently dropped dramatically, according to Mayorkas since the Mexican government ramped up enforcement actions, slowing many migrants from reaching the U.S. southern border. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
EAGLE PASS, TEXAS – JANUARY 08: U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas holds a press conference at a U.S. Border Patrol station on January 08, 2024 in Eagle Pass, Texas. Mayorkas visited Texas border areas where large numbers of migrants had been crossing over the Rio Grande from Mexico just weeks before. The number has recently dropped dramatically, according to Mayorkas since the Mexican government ramped up enforcement actions, slowing many migrants from reaching the U.S. southern border. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Among 10 alleged examples, the article argues that Mr. Mayorkas “delayed or denied access of DHS Office of Inspector General [OIG] to DHS records and information, hampering OIG’s ability to effectively perform its vital investigations, audits, inspections, and other reviews of agency programs and operations to satisfy the OIG’s obligations.”

In his opening remarks of the debate, Mr. Green said that under Mr. Mayorkas, “we’ve all watched the unprecedented crisis at our borders unfold. We’ve seen the chaos. Under Secretary Mayorkas’ watch, Customs and Border Protection has reported more than 8.5 million encounters at our borders, including more than 7 million apprehensions at the Southwest border.

“Even more terrifying is the approximately 1.8 million known gotaways, that Border Patrol agents detect, but are unable to apprehend. Millions of those inadmissible aliens who are encountered are eventually released into our communities. This has never happened before in our history. And it doesn’t happen by accident.”

Mr. Thompson’s opening statement set the tone for the Democratic responses throughout the debate, with the Mississippi Democrat declaring “what is happening here today is a travesty and an affront to the United States Constitution. It will do nothing to solve challenges at our border. And it is a baseless attack on a dedicated public servant.

“Republican Members of Congress, sworn to support and defend the Constitution, are rejecting the framers’ intent and over two centuries of precedent in favor of a politically motivated sham impeachment. Republicans have failed to make a constitutionally viable case. Neither of the two articles are a high crime and misdemeanor under the Constitution.”

As the parade of advocates for each side took the floor podiums to have their say, the rhetoric became sharper and more shrill, with Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Maryland Democrat who is the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, calling it the “slapstick impeachment drive” that he said was mounted by the “Trump-Putin MAGA faction” of the Republican Party.

Similarly, Rep. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) argued that “House Republicans are focused on just one thing, pleasing former President Trump.”

On the other side, Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas) called Mr. Mayorkas “this bum” and “this Benedict Arnold.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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