Feb 21, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: NRSC pushes Senate GOP candidates on Mayorkas impeachment


Photo: William B. Plowman/NBC via Getty Images

The Senate GOP's campaign arm is instructing its candidates to demand a Senate impeachment trial for Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Senate Republicans this week called on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to hold a trial for Mayorkas, who was impeached by the House on a mostly party-line vote.

  • Schumer has not committed to holding a full trial for Mayorkas.
  • Demanding a trial for Biden's border chief would "hold Senate Democrats' feet to the fire for their refusal to demand accountability for the invasion on the southern border," the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) told their candidates in a memo first obtained by Axios.
  • "Democrats caused this crisis, and voting to acquit Mayorkas is a vote to allow the continued invasion of our country," the memo read. An NRSC spokesperson declined to comment.

The big picture: Republicans have made border security and immigration their top election year issue.

  • Republicans charged the Biden cabinet secretary with breach of trust and failing to uphold the laws of the U.S.
  • Democrats criticized the impeachment of Mayorkas as a political exercise with no legal basis.
  • Republicans killed the hopes of a bipartisan compromise on immigration legislation after former President Trump urged lawmakers to vote against it.

Between the lines: Some Senate Republicans have expressed skepticism about whether Mayorkas' actions rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors.

  • At the same time, one group of conservatives have demanded a full impeachment trial.

Zoom in: Democrats could move to dismiss the impeachment articles, which would only take a majority vote. The idea of a quick dismissal has alarmed some Republicans.

  • A group of Republicans this week wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), saying a move to dismiss the impeachment articles would be "an action rarely contemplated and never taken by the U.S. Senate."
  • Schumer's office said last week that the impeachment articles would be presented to the Senate when it returns next week, but plans for a full trial have not been revealed.

The bottom line: The Democratic-controlled Senate is almost certain to not vote to convict Mayorkas.

  • Conviction in the chamber requires a 2/3 vote.
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