Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
House Votes to Impeach Mayorkas in Historic Rebuke of Sitting Cabinet Member by Republicans
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 2 months ago on
February 14, 2024

Share

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Return of Majority Leader Steve Scalise from cancer care proves to be the difference.

Vote to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is 214-213.

“History will not look kindly on House Republicans,” says President Joe Biden.


WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted Tuesday to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, with the Republican majority determined to punish the Biden administration over its handling of the U.S-Mexico border after failing last week in a politically embarrassing setback.

The evening roll call proved 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.

In a historic rebuke, the House impeached Mayorkas 214-213. With the return of Majority Leader Steve Scalise to bolster the GOP’s numbers after being away from Washington for cancer care and a Northeastern storm impacting some others, Republicans recouped — despite dissent in their ranks.

President Joe Biden said in a statement released after the vote, “History will not look kindly on House Republicans for their blatant act of unconstitutional partisanship that has targeted an honorable public servant in order to play petty political games.”

The GOP effort to impeach Mayorkas over his handling of the southern border has taken on an air of political desperation as Republicans struggle to make good on their priorities.

Mayorkas faced two articles of impeachment filed by the Homeland Security Committee 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.

Impeachment Critics Say Move Is Politically Motivated

But critics of the impeachment effort said the charges against Mayorkas amount to a policy dispute over Biden’s border policy, hardly rising to the Constitution’s bar of high crimes and misdemeanors.

The House had initially launched an impeachment inquiry into Biden over his son’s business dealings, but instead turned its attention to Mayorkas after Trump ally Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia pushed the debate forward following the panel’s months-long investigation.

The charges against Mayorkas would next 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.

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” if he retakes the White House.

Various House Republicans have prepared legislation to begin deporting migrants who were temporarily allowed into the U.S. under the Biden administration’s policies, many as they await adjudication of asylum claims.

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

At the same time, Johnson rejected a bipartisan Senate border security package but has been unable to advance the Republicans’ proposal, which is a nonstarter in the Senate.

Three Republican representatives broke ranks last week over the Mayorkas impeachment, which several leading conservative scholars have dismissed as unwarranted and a waste of time. With a 219-212 majority, Johnson had few votes to spare.

House Republicans Want to Impeach Other Biden Officials

Mayorkas is not the only Biden administration official the House Republicans want to impeach. They have filed legislation to impeach a long list including Vice President Kamala Harris, Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

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 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.

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.

Wisconsin’s Gallagher Won’t Seek Reelection

One of the Republican holdouts, Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, who had served as a Marine, announced over the weekend he would not be seeking reelection in the fall, joining a growing list of serious-minded Republican lawmakers heading for the exits.

At the time, Rep. Al Green, D-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, and failed.

“Obviously, you feel good when you can make a difference,” said Green, describing his painstaking route from hospital bed to the House floor. “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.”

 

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Whitey Herzog, Hall of Fame Manager Who Led Cardinals to 1980s Success, Dies at 92

DON'T MISS

Coalinga-Huron Teachers Say They’ll Strike Unless a Fair Contract Is Offered

DON'T MISS

Coalition: CA Lawmakers Need to Roll Back Proposed ‘Utility Tax’

DON'T MISS

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

DON'T MISS

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

DON'T MISS

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

DON'T MISS

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

DON'T MISS

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

DON'T MISS

Acquisition of Historic Fresno Real Estate Brand Creates Area’s Largest Brokerage

DON'T MISS

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

UP NEXT

Coalinga-Huron Teachers Say They’ll Strike Unless a Fair Contract Is Offered

UP NEXT

Coalition: CA Lawmakers Need to Roll Back Proposed ‘Utility Tax’

UP NEXT

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

UP NEXT

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

UP NEXT

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

UP NEXT

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

UP NEXT

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

UP NEXT

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

UP NEXT

It’s ‘Signing Day’ for These Clovis Unified Youngsters

UP NEXT

Clovis Armed Robbery and Pursuit Result in 3 Arrests, 1 Suspect Still at Large

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

9 hours ago

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

Local Education /

9 hours ago

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

Local Education /

9 hours ago

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

10 hours ago

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

10 hours ago

Acquisition of Historic Fresno Real Estate Brand Creates Area’s Largest Brokerage

Breaking News /

10 hours ago

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

11 hours ago

It’s ‘Signing Day’ for These Clovis Unified Youngsters

Local Education /

11 hours ago

Clovis Armed Robbery and Pursuit Result in 3 Arrests, 1 Suspect Still at Large

11 hours ago

Charges Against Trump and Jan. 6 Rioters at Stake as Supreme Court Hears Debate Over Obstruction Law

11 hours ago

Whitey Herzog, Hall of Fame Manager Who Led Cardinals to 1980s Success, Dies at 92

NEW YORK — Whitey Herzog, the gruff and ingenious Hall of Fame manager who guided the St. Louis Cardinals to three pennants and a World Seri...

4 hours ago

4 hours ago

Whitey Herzog, Hall of Fame Manager Who Led Cardinals to 1980s Success, Dies at 92

4 hours ago

Coalinga-Huron Teachers Say They’ll Strike Unless a Fair Contract Is Offered

7 hours ago

Coalition: CA Lawmakers Need to Roll Back Proposed ‘Utility Tax’

9 hours ago

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

Local Education /
9 hours ago

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

Local Education /
9 hours ago

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

10 hours ago

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

10 hours ago

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend