Updated Feb 7, 2024 - Politics & Policy

House Democrats prepare to fight GOP encore on Mayorkas impeachment

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Photo: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images.

House Democrats are trying to be ready for an expected second vote next week to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Why it matters: Their rare full attendance this Tuesday, along with three GOP defections, led to the shocking defeat of the first impeachment attempt.

  • One senior House Democrat told Axios they see "no reason to believe that we won't be at full attendance" next week as well.

Driving the news: An "attendance check" sent out by House Minority Whip Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) on Wednesday afternoon warned that all members are "required to be present in the House Chamber to vote."

  • The note added that Democratic leadership expects "the Impeachment of Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas ... to be brought to the floor on Tuesday."
  • The vote timing puts it just ahead of a key special election to replace former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), which poses a real chance of Democrats picking up another House seat.

The backdrop: The two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas over his handling of the U.S.-Mexico border failed 215-215.

  • Three Republicans, Reps. Ken Buck (Colo.), Tom McClintock (Calif.) and Mike Gallgher (Wisc.) voted with Democrats against impeachment, saying the articles failed to prove he committed an impeachable offense.
  • House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) was the sole absence, putting Republicans down one vote on top of their already tenuous three-vote majority.

Between the lines: Getting all members to show up and vote is, in the words of one Democrat, "always a crapshoot."

  • Members can be unexpectedly waylaid by illness, family emergencies, weather – and, in the case of Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), a presidential campaign.
  • Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), in a shocking twist that captured headlines on Tuesday, cast the deciding vote in a wheelchair and hospital scrubs. He was recovering from abdominal surgery and was rushed to the Capitol to vote.

Spokespeople for Scalise, Phillips and Green did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether they will attend the vote on Tuesday.

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