House GOP will try again to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas after failing once. But outcome is still uncertain
Image via AP.

Mike Johnson
Even if the House succeeds, Republicans don't have enough votes in the Senate to remove Mayorkas.

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday, but it’s not at all certain the do-over vote will produce a better tally after last week’s politically embarrassing setback.

The evening vote is expected to be tight with Speaker Mike Johnson’s threadbare GOP majority unable to handle many defectors or absences in the face of staunch Democratic opposition to impeaching Mayorkas, the first Cabinet Secretary facing charges in nearly 150 years.

Despite the expected arrival of Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who will bolster the GOP numbers after being away from Washington for cancer care, even one other missing or weather-delayed lawmaker could imperil the Mayorkas impeachment. If the vote pushes later into the week, the outcome of Tuesday’s Special Election in New York to replace ousted U.S. Rep. George Santos could tip the balance further.

Johnson posted a fists-clenched photo with Scalise, announcing his remission from cancer, saying, “looking forward to having him back in the trenches this week!”

The GOP effort to impeach Mayorkas over border security has taken on an air of political desperation as Republicans try to make good on their priorities after last week’s mishap and after Republicans rejected a bipartisan Senate border security package.

Border security has shot to the top of campaign issues, with Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner for the presidential nomination, insisting he will launch “the largest domestic deportation operation in American history” on day one if he retakes the White House.

In stark language over the weekend, Trump debased immigrant arrivals, even going so far as to suggest without evidence they bring disease into the U.S. Trump reiterated his plans of a second-term roundup to remove potentially millions of newcomers from the U.S., a spectacle practically unseen in modern times.

“We have no choice,” Trump said at a rally in South Carolina.

The House, which launched an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden over his son’s business dealings, has instead turned its attention to Mayorkas after Trump ally U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia pushed the debate forward.

If the House succeeds in impeaching Mayorkas, the charges against him would go to the Senate for a trial, but neither Democratic nor Republican Senators have shown interest in the matter and it may be indefinitely shelved to a committee.

After a monthslong investigation, the House Homeland Security Committee filed two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas — arguing that he “willfully and systematically” refused to enforce existing immigration laws and that he breached the public trust by lying to Congress and saying the border was secure.

Never before has a sitting Cabinet secretary been impeached, and it was nearly 150 years ago that the House voted to impeach President Ulysses S. Grant’s Secretary of War, William Belknap, over a kickback scheme in government contracts. He resigned moments before the vote.

Mayorkas, who did not appear to testify before the impeachment proceedings, put the border crisis squarely on Congress for failing to update immigration laws during a time of global migration.

“There is no question that we have a challenge, a crisis at the border,” Mayorkas said over the weekend on NBC. “And there is no question that Congress needs to fix it.”

Johnson and the Republicans have pushed back, arguing that the Biden administration could take executive actions, as Trump did, to stop the number of crossings — though the courts have questioned and turned back some of those efforts.

“We always explore what options are available to us that are permissible under the law,” Mayorkas said in the interview.

Last week’s failed vote to impeach Mayorkas — a surprise outcome rarely seen on such a high-profile issue — was a stunning display in the chamber that has been churning through months of GOP chaos since the ouster of the previous House Speaker.

As the clock ticked down, three Republicans opposed impeaching Mayorkas, leaving the tally at razor’s edge. With a 219-212 majority and Scalise absent, Johnson had just a few votes to spare.

One Democrat, U.S. Rep. Al Green of Texas, who had been hospitalized for emergency abdominal surgery, made a surprise arrival, wheeled into the chamber in scrubs and socks to vote against it — leaving the vote tied.

One of the Republican holdouts, U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, who had served as a Marine and is now a committee Chairman, was quickly encircled by colleagues, including the impeachment’s chief sponsor, Georgia’s Greene. He refused to change his vote.

Gallagher announced over the weekend he would not be seeking re-election in the fall. Once a rising star as a next generation of the GOP, he now joins a growing list of serious-minded Republican lawmakers heading for the exits.

Republicans are hopeful the New York Special Election will boost their ranks further, but the outcome of that race is uncertain.

Democrat Green of Texas is now out of the hospital and recuperating from surgery, and was amazed at how critics suggested he was sneaked into the Capitol to vote. He described the painstaking effort to get from his hospital bed to the House floor.

“Obviously, you feel good when you can make a difference,” Green said. “All I did was what I was elected to do, and that was to cast my vote on the issues of our time, using the best judgment available to me.”

He plans to be there again this week to vote against Mayorkas’ impeachment.

___

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Associated Press


10 comments

  • PeterH

    February 13, 2024 at 11:56 am

    The hypocrisy of Republicans in the House and Senate are remarkably consistent! Vote against stricter border legislation! Impeach those following the immigration policies they have designed!

    Republicans are America’s worst enemy!

    Vote all Republicans out of office!

    • Impeach Biden

      February 13, 2024 at 12:29 pm

      I’m dizzy from the spin Peter. Give me the count of illegals that have crossed under the Biden and Trump administrations. Biden signed and sent signals that were received around the world to come. That is the fact and now that people have had more than enough, you and the Demo spin machine attempt to put the blame on the Repubs. You had the House and Senate for the first two years of this disastrous administration and did nothing

      • JD

        February 13, 2024 at 2:56 pm

        Let’s compare apples to apples with zero spin then.

        The number of crossings needs definition. What you really mean is successful crossings.

        Not to do so is lying with a vanity metric because it is a variable you cannot control.

        Let’s compare “returns” or as they defined as “Deportations, returns and expulsions” because that’s what counts (the illegals they pushed back).

        Trump
        2017 – under 500K
        2018 – slightly under 500K
        2019 – slightly over 500K
        2020 – around 600K

        Biden
        2021 – 1.25M
        2022 – 1.4M
        2023 – 1.1M

        And saying it’s because of Trump’s wall, the USA/Mexico border is almost 2,000 miles long. Before Trump came to office there were walls of sorts measuring 649 miles. During Trump’s presidency only 55 extra miles were built. Still over half of it not “secured.”

        So, saying Biden and Congress has done nothing is BS given the numbers. It’s a surge and after the BS pulled by the House, we all can see the Republicans don’t care. You all just want a talking point to rail on.

        • Eagle Pass

          February 13, 2024 at 9:04 pm

          More spin. I’m getting dizzy now. You focus on deportations and completely ignore the raw numbers that have entered. Look at the so called “sanctuary cities” and states now crying uncle. This country is getting overrun. Mayorkas just got impeached. Of course it is symbolic but enough is enough. Now where is that border czar when we need her.

          • JD

            February 14, 2024 at 7:27 am

            Please share any recording metric of “raw numbers that entered” and escaped deportation. You can’t because nobody has that information. You don’t know if it’s 1000% more than what was deported or .0001%. Talk about “Spin”.

            The deportations are best metric, but to be complete, lets include those allowed to stay while they await sanctuary hearings:

            Trump:
            2017 – 53K
            2018 – 22K
            2019 – 30K
            2020 – 11K

            Biden
            2021 – 11K
            2022 – 25K
            2023 – 60K

            Even with the increase in the Biden years for those allowed to stay, given the increase in attempted border crossings, these numbers as a percentage are much lower.

            The impeachment of Mayorkas was an incredibly bad move and will come back to bite the Republicans in the ass. Impeachment is used for corruption of character, not policy clash. The border wasn’t even incompetence, as proven by the Republicans unwilling to make a deal – that their boy brought to the floor.

            So, keep spinning the Republicans shenanigans. I’m likewise dizzy too.

      • Joe

        February 14, 2024 at 10:08 am

        Biden’s admin has sent back a higher proportion of border crossers than Trump’s did, and neither Trump nor his congressional toadies have done anything except intentionally separate children from their parents (for the lulz). They didn’t even build any new wall! We live in a complex world, you should try turning off Fox News and visiting reality now and then.

  • Michael K

    February 13, 2024 at 1:19 pm

    It’s the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over – just as they did to “repeal” the Affordable Care Act (with the much-promised “replacement” just another lie).

    But real bipartisan solutions to the border? Republicans are AWOL. After all, they want things worse because all they have is fear. Their leader is hoping the economy crashes before the election – that’s how deeply they hate this country.

  • Joe

    February 14, 2024 at 10:02 am

    Ah yes, more grandstanding by underqualified RepubliQan congressdouches who can’t even read legislation, let alone write it, so all they can do is this sort of performative time-wasting nonsense. What a bunch of weak-willed puppets.

    • Mayorkas Impeached

      February 15, 2024 at 8:58 am

      Reading and writing legislation. That’s funny considering that crazy Kalifornian that was Speaker of The House obviously never read a thing. Remember the ACA and what she said on that?

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 24, 2024 at 6:10 pm

    The crazy MAGA House got their impeachment through. That means a trial in the Senate.

    The MAGAs made a whopping mistake, however. They failed to realize they’ll be the ones on trial, not Mayorkas.

    The Senate should start the trial Monday and have it all day every day through November.

    Wouldn’t it be great to see a nine month Senate spectacle on TV all day every day exposing the MAGA House Republicans, including House Speaker Trump and his House N_______ Johnson as the dipsticks they are?

Comments are closed.


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