Jan 11, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Mayorkas agrees to appear before House committee seeking to impeach him

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas holds a press conference at a U.S. Border Patrol station

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas holds a press conference in Eagle Pass, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has agreed to appear before Congress to defend himself against impeachment efforts by House Republicans, according to an agency letter obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The news comes one day after the House Homeland Security Committee launched impeachment proceedings against the secretary — an effort that has been brewing for years as the GOP has made the border one of their top political issues.

  • In a letter sent to lawmakers on Thursday, the DHS said the secretary would "make himself available to testify."
  • Chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.) had asked Mayorkas to appear next Thursday.
  • The DHS letter offers to work with the committee on a time and structure for the hearing.
  • One Democratic staffer told Axios that DHS's response makes clear that Mayorkas is trying to cooperate in good faith, even as Republicans say otherwise.

What they're saying: In response to the letter, Chairman Green charged Mayorkas with a "pattern of defying Congress" and for refusing committee requests to testify.

  • "We have given him every opportunity to explain his handling of the crisis," Green claimed in a statement.
  • Green went on to criticize Mayorkas for declining to appear before Congress on the requested date due to the agency hosting Mexican officials to discuss border enforcement.
  • "Apparently, he needs to be reminded that Congress is a co-equal branch of government, and our Committee, not Mexico, has oversight over his department," the chairman said.
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