The impeachment vote of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas failed in the Republican-led House of Representatives Tuesday with a tie of 215-215. House Republicans had pushed for Mayorkas’s impeachment over his handling of the crisis at the southern border. The two articles of impeachment accused Mayorkas of refusing “to comply with Federal immigration laws” and violating the “public trust.”
Their embarrassing failure was made possible by three Republican Reps.—Tom McClintock (Calif.), Ken Buck (Colo.), and Mike Gallagher (Wis.)—who each voted against impeaching the embattled DHS secretary.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) was absent due to cancer treatments.
BREAKING: The impeachment vote of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has failed with a tie at 215-215.
Three Republican No votes that killed the impeachment were Tom McClintock (CA), Ken Buck (CO), and Mike Gallagher (WI)
Scalise is absent due to cancer treatments. pic.twitter.com/9K4knBjEig
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) February 6, 2024
Democrats wheeled Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) straight from surgery apparently to the House floor just in time to vote. Clad in in what Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Jonathan Tamari described as “hospital scrubs,” Green helped the Democrats achieve the tie vote.
Dem Rep. Al Greene – wheeled in just as the vote appeared headed toward a tie, no shoes on, in what looked like hospital scrubs as pants – said he had surgery. But came to vote against the impeachment.
Hakeem Jeffries shook his hand after he arrived
— Jonathan Tamari (@JonathanTamari) February 6, 2024
Rep. Blake Moore (R-Utah) switched his vote to no at the last minute, making the vote 214-216, as part of a procedural move to bring the resolution back to the floor next week when Scalise is back.
The move is a crushing defeat for the Republican majority, which held hearings throughout 2023 on Mayorkas’ “dereliction of duty” and additional hearings on the impeachment articles themselves earlier this year. Lawmakers accused Mayorkas of disregarding federal law with “open border policies” that have made the ongoing crisis at the southern border worse. They have pointed to the rolling back of Trump-era policies like border wall construction and Remain-in-Mexico as well as reducing interior enforcement and expanding “catch-and-release.” They say it has fueled record numbers at the southern border, where numbers breached the 300,000 mark in December.
“Under Secretary Mayorkas’ watch, Customs and Border Protection has reported more than 8.5 million encounters at our borders, including more than seven million apprehensions at the Southwest border,” Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green said on the House floor. “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.”
Green said that Republicans had been left with “no other option” than to proceed.
“We, the people’s representatives, have no opinion, no option but to exercise this duty when branch officials blatantly refuse to comply with the laws we have passed threaten the separation of powers, imperiled the constitutional order, and expose Americans to untold suffering and death,” he said.
The last Cabinet secretary to be impeached was Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876.
McClintock told Fox News that he was voting his “conscience” in voting against impeachment.
“I don’t have anything nice to say about Mayokas or the job he’s done. I think he’s been a disaster for the country,” he told Fox’s Neil Caputo. “I think the open borders policy has place our nation at serious risk. The problem, though, is, doing a bad job is not grounds for impeachment under our Constitution and the moment we agree to that is the new standard, if the House changes hands, you can expect new standard to be used against conservatives on the Supreme Court, a future Republican president,” the California Republican added, apparently forgetting that Democrats have already impeached a Republican president twice.
McClintock correctly pointed out, however, that it was highly unlikely that the measure would succeed in the Senate and even if it did, nothing would change, as Biden would simply replace him with another leftist.
Democrats and the Biden regime have blasted the impeachment push as a politically-motivated stunt based policy disagreements, rather than high crimes and misdemeanors.
“Far from alleging high crimes and misdemeanors, this resolution relies on the same tired and untrue Republican talking points that Democrats have demonstrated for months are not true,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.).
Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) called the Republican effort a “travesty” and an “affront to the Constitution.”
“Rather than doing what’s right for America because it’s clear that Republicans have failed to make the case for impeachment. They have failed to articulate a single high crime and misdemeanor. The other side of the aisle reeks of desperation,” he said.
Mayorkas called the allegations against himself “false” and “baseless.”
“I assure you that your false accusations do not rattle me and do not divert me from the law enforcement and broader public service mission to which I have devoted most of my career and to which I remain devoted,” Mayorkas said.
DHS has pointed to more than 500,000 removals since May and record seizures of fentanyl at the border to counteract claims that it has pursued open border policies. It has also called on Republicans to provide more funding and to work with the administration to fix a “broken” immigration system. It had highlighted Republicans and former DHS officials who have opposed the impeachment effort.
In an impassioned floor speech, Tuesday, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene accused Mayorkas of “aiding and abetting the complete invasion of our country by criminals, gang members, terrorists, murderers, rapists and over 10 million people from over 160 countries into American communities.”
Secretary Mayorkas has allowed over 10 MILLION illegal aliens to invade our country.
Democrats would rather see Americans assaulted, raped, and murdered than secure our border and impeach Secretary Mayorkas.
It's time to IMPEACH Mayorkas and secure our border! pic.twitter.com/Bpmxgmq58A
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) February 6, 2024
Following the failed vote, Greene told reporters that she knew it was going to be close because of the GOP’s “razor thin” majority, but said she expects to see the articles of impeachment come back to the floor and be successful with Scalise’s vote as early as next week.
“Of course my colleagues who voted no, I think they’ll be hearing from their constituents,” she said.
Asked about the failed impeachment vote Wednesday morning, Speaker Johnson expressed confidence that the measure will eventually pass.
As to why he set up a vote that wasn’t a guaranteed win, he said “last night was a setback but democracy is messy. Johnson pointed out that the GOP has a razor thin majority and said, “sometimes when you’re counting votes and people show up who are not expected to be in the building [Rep. Al Green], it changes the equation.”
“We will pass those articles of impeachment. We’ll do it on the next time round,” Johnson added.
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 7, 2024