FILE - Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Capitol Hill, Nov. 8, 2023, in Washington. House Republicans are marching ahead with impeachment plans, their sights on Mayorkas as "derelict in his duty" over handling of the U.S.-Mexico border. Speaker Mike Johnson gave his nod to Wednesday's hearing at the Homeland Security Committee.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
Three Republicans joined all Democrats in voting against Mayorkas’ impeachment. A fourth GOP Congressman switched his vote in order to avoid a tie and file a motion to reconsider.
After months of hearings and deliberations on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ job performance related to his duties to secure the southern U.S. border, the U.S. House of Representative voted 216-214 not to impeach him.
Three Republicans voted against the impeachment of Mayorkas along with all Democrats. The GOP Congressmen were Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), and Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA).
A fourth Republican – Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT) – changed his vote from yes to no to avoid a tie in order to file a motion to reconsider to allow a revote in the future.
Today’s vote would have made Mayorkas the first Cabinet official to be impeached in nearly 150 years. The last such official was Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876. He resigned prior to the vote.
Last week, the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee advanced articles of impeachment against Mayorkas for what Republican members claim as his refusing to follow immigration law and of breaching public trust related to the crisis at the southern border which has seen upwards of 3 million illegal migrants enter the U.S. since President Joe Biden took office.
Republicans in the House contend that Mayorkas has repeatedly failed to enforce U.S. immigration policies, made false statements, and obstructed oversight of his federal department.
House Democrats on the Committee, led by Mississippi’s 2nd District Congressman Bennie Thompson as the ranking member, opposed the impeachment, accusing Republicans of perpetuating challenges at the border to help re-elect former President Donald Trump. Thompson went so far as to call the impeachment an “extreme MAGA Republican sham.”
“Not only has Secretary Mayorkas upheld the law, he is carrying out the Administration’s policies in good faith and in accordance with our American values,” Congressman Thompson said before the Committee hearing.
Mississippi’s other two Congressmen on the Homeland Security Committee, both of whom are Republicans – Michael Guest (MS-3) and Mike Ezell (MS-4) – supported Mayorkas’ impeachment in committee and on the floor Tuesday.
The Magnolia State’s other Congressman, Republican Trent Kelly in the 1st District, voted in favor of impeachment as well.
The impeachment would have faced an uphill battle in the Senate where the Democratic-majority chamber was unlikely to convict the Secretary. A conviction would have required a two-thirds majority vote, and in a 51-49 split chamber with Democrats holding the edge, Mayorkas’ Cabinet seat would have been more likely than not safe.
Mayorkas remains on the job as Secretary of Homeland Security as of now with the support of President Joe Biden.