Updated Feb 6, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Mayorkas impeachment in doubt as GOP struggles with vote math

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

House Republicans are struggling to cobble together the votes they need to impeach Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas ahead of a planned vote on Tuesday.

Why it matters: With just a three-vote majority in the House and two Republicans already on record opposing impeachment, GOP leadership has little margin for error in avoiding an embarrassing defeat on the floor.

State of play: Reps. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) and Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) have said publicly they oppose impeaching Mayorkas.

  • "Maladministration or incompetence does not rise to what our founders considered an impeachable offense," Buck wrote in an op-ed in The Hill published Monday.
  • McClintock, in a 10-page memo released Tuesday, said the articles of impeachment "fail to identify an impeachable crime" and "stretch and distort the Constitution."

What we're hearing: The skepticism runs deeper than just those two, multiple sources told Axios.

  • One House Republican said there are "still 4 or 5 NO votes," with sources saying at least three more moderate members aren't totally sold.
  • Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) also raised concerns about the case for impeachment in a closed-door GOP conference meeting on Tuesday morning, according to two members.

Yes, but: Buck expressed doubt that most of his colleagues are willing to break with leadership. He told Axios, "Are there skeptics? Yes. Will they vote no? I'm not sure."

Zoom in: Republicans are also dealing with the absences of House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) and at least one other Republican, making their math all the more tenuous, sources said.

  • Some members in the closed-door meeting on Tuesday questioned why leadership would move impeachment to the floor without the votes being locked in.

What’s next: House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that he still planned to hold a vote on impeachment.

  • Asked if he has the votes to pass it, he said: "I believe we do."

Go deeper: Mayorkas mounts 11th-hour defense against GOP impeachment effort

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the latest.

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