Apr 17, 2024 - Politics & Policy

GOP Senate candidates pounce on Dems for Mayorkas impeachment vote

Senator Jon Tester, a Democrat from Montana, left, arrives for a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024.

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), left, is one of several Democrats facing tough re-election fights. Photo: Graeme Sloan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Vulnerable Senate Democrats took a tough vote Wednesday in squashing impeachment charges against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and their GOP challengers wasted no time in their attacks.

Why it matters: Polling consistently shows the border is one of the top issues for voters in 2024 as Democrats try to protect a fragile Senate majority.

  • Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) all face re-election and all voted to dispense with the impeachment charges.
  • Democrats, who voted on party lines to declare the impeachment article unconstitutional, say Mayorkas did not commit any high crimes or misdemeanors.
  • They argued Republicans were elevating policy disputes with the Biden White House to an unprecedented impeachment of a cabinet official.

The big picture: The National Republican Senatorial Committee told Axios the lawmakers' votes against the impeachment will be used in campaign ads, on the trail and "in every other way possible," a spokesperson said.

  • Ohio Republican Bernie Moreno argued Brown's vote was "shameful" and that he "sided with the Washington swamp."
  • Montana Republican Tim Sheehy said on X that Tester "doesn't have the backbone to seal our border."
  • Pennsylvania Republican Dave McCormick criticized Casey on X for voting "to allow Alejandro Mayorkas to escape accountability for the border chaos."

The bottom line: Even if they didn't accomplish their goal of ousting Mayorkas, Republicans forced Democrats into a controversial vote that they will deploy on the campaign trail.

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