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House Republicans faced a setback on Tuesday as their attempt to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas fell short. This was a humiliating blow for GOP leaders who were already struggling to push through key legislative priorities.
Republicans Impeachment Proceedings
The impeachment proceedings against Mayorkas failed by a very narrow margin of 214-216. Three Republicans opposed impeaching the Secretary, citing policy disagreements with Mayorkas on how to address the crisis at the southern border. Representatives Ken Buck (R-CO), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), and Tom McClintock (R-CA) were the three GOP lawmakers who voted against impeaching Mayorkas. Let’s take a closer look at who they are.
Buck has often found himself at odds with GOP leadership and had told reporters before the vote that he didn’t believe there was a basis for impeaching Mayorkas. “It’s clear that Secretary Mayorkas has been a complete failure in his job. He is incompetent.
He is a disgrace. And he will likely be remembered as the worst Secretary of Homeland Security in the history of the United States,” Buck wrote in an opinion column for The Hill. However, Buck stated, “Mismanagement or incompetence doesn’t rise to the level that our founders considered impeachable offenses.”
Gallagher’s vote against impeachment on Tuesday came as a surprise. House Republicans held a closed-door meeting on Tuesday morning, where Gallagher expressed concerns about the validity of impeaching Mayorkas. The Wisconsin Republican later left the meeting and refused to share his thoughts with reporters ahead of the upcoming vote, but ultimately, he was one of the crucial votes that thwarted the effort.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green (R-TN) was seen attempting to persuade Gallagher to change his vote on the House floor, but his efforts proved futile.
Following the impeachment vote, Gallagher released a statement saying, “This will only further open Pandora’s constant impeachment trap.”
McClintock was one of several undecided votes going into the impeachment vote, but he clarified his position with a lengthy, 10-page statement released on Tuesday morning. In it, he echoed concerns raised by his colleagues that Republicans lacked sufficient grounds to impeach Mayorkas. McClintock suggested that the border crisis could be resolved after the 2024 elections, stating, “A complete change in administration will be necessary, and it can only be accomplished by the American people at the ballot box.”
While House Republicans attempted to hold Mayorkas accountable through impeachment, their efforts ultimately fell short. The narrow margin of defeat highlights the division within the GOP regarding the best approach to addressing the challenges at the southern border. As the Biden administration continues to grapple with immigration issues, the debate over Mayorkas’s leadership and the broader border crisis is likely to persist.