House Votes Not to Impeach Mayorkas, but It's Not Done: 'Blatantly Ignored the Laws of the US'
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House Republicans held their high-stakes impeachment vote Tuesday night for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. While the initial vote narrowly failed with 214 voting for impeachment and 216 voting against it, one congressman says a follow-up vote will be held in the near future.
In the end, three Republicans opposed the impeachment, and a fourth Republican switched his vote so the measure could be revisited.
House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) reportedly plans to bring up the measure again.
You'd have to go back almost 150 years to the last time a cabinet official was impeached by Congress in 1876. House Republicans still hope to add Mayorkas to that list to underscore just how important defending the border is to the country.
The GOP accuses Mayorkas of willfully refusing to stop migrants from entering the country illegally, resulting in record numbers of crossings: nearly 250,000 in December alone. They charged Mayorkas with two articles of impeachment, saying the Homeland Security secretary violated the law by allowing migrants to be released into the country and lied to Congress about the situation at the southern border.
"Secretary Mayorkas thinks what he is doing is just fine, but he could not be more wrong," said Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX). "Contrary to what the secretary says, the border is not secure. America is, in fact, less safe because of his negligence and because of his numerous failures."
Another lawmaker said Mayorkas has done "exactly the opposite of what the federal law requires" him to do.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) said, "The secretary of Homeland Security has blatantly ignored the laws of the United States he is charged to faithfully execute. He's done so with reckless abandon. He's done so in a way that has led directly to the death of American citizens." Roy explained he was referring to the deadly fentanyl crisis that has escalated due to the lack of border security.
Roy said Mayorkas has violated his office by "completely refusing to carry out his duty," arguing that's what qualifies him for impeachment.
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) said, "Impeachment is one of the most solemn, serious, somber things that we can do in this party. It's not something that ought to get thrown around lightly or invoked when you disagree with someone or you don't like their policies or you think they're doing a bad job. It's something that should happen after a grave constitutional offense has been committed."
The impeachment effort comes as border politics take center stage in a hotly debated immigration bill before Congress. The Senate bill that ties new border security measures to aid Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan is all but dead.
President Biden is trying to blame the latest border policy failure on former President Donald Trump who has opposed the Senate's immigration bill. "Every day between now and November the American people are going to know that the only reason the border is not secure is Donald Trump and his MAGA Republican friends," Biden claimed.
Trump and GOP conservatives argued the bill didn't do enough to tackle immigration and criticized the Ukraine aid package as wasteful.
Rep. Roy said accusations by Democrats that House GOP members are taking orders from former President Trump are false, saying this is not about politics, it's about protecting the U.S.
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