House Republicans suffered a stinging defeat Tuesday when four members of their conference joined Democrats in voting to not impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The House voted 216-214 to not impeach Mayorkas over his failure to secure the border with Mexico. But there are indications they will try to vote again next week on impeaching Mayorkas.
“The sham impeachment of Secretary Mayorkas just went down in flames,” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., posted on X. “Democracy wins. Extreme MAGA Republicans lose. Again.”
Because of the Republicans’ slim majority in the House, reduced to 219-212 following the resignations of three members and the expulsion of George Santos of New York, they could not afford to have many defections on the impeachment resolution, which was sponsored by Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene of Georgia.
But Republicans Ken Buck of Colorado, Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, Tom McClintock of California, and Blake Moore of Utah joined all 212 Democrats in voting against the resolution. Moore first voted to impeach but then joined the no side to allow the House GOP to bring up the vote again. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., did not vote because he is in Louisiana following cancer surgery.
Greene’s resolution brought up two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas: willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law regarding border security and immigration and breach of the public trust.
“The 3 no votes against impeaching Mayorkas were: Mike Gallagher (WI-08), Tom McClintock (CA-05), Ken Buck (CO-04),” Greene posted on X. “Blake Moore changed his vote no when asked by leadership for procedural reasons to make a motion to reconsider so that we can vote on impeachment again next week. We look forward to Leader Steve Scalise returning to vote yes and officially impeaching Secretary Mayorkas.”
Republicans held impeachment hearings throughout 2023 detailing how Mayorkas and the Biden administration’s policies had failed to secure the southern border and curb illegal immigrants from crossing over from Mexico. Soon after he took office in 2021, Biden rolled back many Trump administration policies that reduced border crossings, leading to record numbers of illegal immigrants crossing the border.
In the 2023 fiscal year that ended Sept. 31, U.S. Customs and Border Protection data showed there were a record 2,475,669 encounters with illegal immigrants at the southern border. In the first three months of the 2024 fiscal year, there have been 785,422 encounters, including 302,034 in December, a record for one month in U.S. history. The data shows the U.S. is on pace to have more than 3.1 million encounters during the 2024 fiscal year, a 26.8% increase.
Only one Cabinet official has been impeached in U.S. history: Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876. He resigned before he was acquitted by the Senate.
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