Jan 31, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Late-night vote sends historic Mayorkas impeachment vote to House floor

Committee chairman Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) and ranking member Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) speak to one another during a hearing with the House Committee on Homeland Security

Committee chairman Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) and ranking member Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS). Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

House Homeland Security Committee Republicans approved two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas just after midnight Wednesday, sending the vote to the House floor.

Why it matters: If the historic vote succeeds, Mayorkas would be the first Cabinet member to be impeached since 1876.

  • For years, conservatives have been gunning to impeach Mayorkas as the border has become the No. 1 issue for the Republican Party.
  • Democrats stonewalled and insisted that Republicans had failed to provide evidence of the constitutional standard of high crimes and misdemeanors.
  • The articles passed out of committee along party lines.

What they're saying: "Today is a grave day. We have not approached this day or this process lightly. Secretary Mayorkas's actions have forced our hand," Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.) said in his opening statement.

  • Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said the "impeachment scheme is a dangerous attempt to distort the Constitution and the Secretary's record to cover up their inability and unwillingness to work with Democrats."

Zoom in: A slew of key voices and legal experts have spoken out against the impeachment effort.

  • Former President Trump's impeachment defender Alan Dershowitz published an op-ed Tuesday evening, arguing Mayorkas "has not committed bribery, treason, or high crimes and misdemeanors" and that most Republicans "are prepared to apply a double standard based on partisan considerations."
  • The Wall Street Editorial Board warned that "impeaching Mr. Mayorkas won't change enforcement policy and is a bad precedent that will open the gates to more cabinet impeachments by both parties."

Between the lines: During the impeachment push, House Republicans are also slamming Senate negotiations on a border deal that would be one of the most conservative border bills of the century.

  • Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has indicated that the pending Senate border plan would be "dead on arrival" in the House.
  • If the House manages to pass articles of impeachment against Mayorkas, an impeachment trial will meet the same fate in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
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