House panel advances Mayorkas impeachment resolution

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speaks in 2021 during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON — The House Homeland Security Committee approved a resolution early Wednesday to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, about 15 hours after a contentious markup began.

The committee voted 18-15 along party lines at about 1 a.m. to advance the measure to the House floor. Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., wrote last week in a letter to House Republicans that the resolution will receive a floor vote “as soon as possible.”


The measure seeks to impeach the DHS leader for “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and “breach of public trust.” The first and only time a Cabinet-level official has been impeached was during the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant in the late 1800s, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Committee Republicans argued in part during the markup that Mayorkas has abused his authority to grant humanitarian parole to migrants and flouted requirements to secure the border and detain those who cross the border illegally, causing an increase in migration at the southwest border.

Democrats on the panel labeled the impeachment resolution an unproductive political stunt and said that Republicans’ justifications were based on different policy opinions rather than credible offenses.

Democrats made multiple procedural motions to delay the committee markup that were consistently rejected in party-line votes. They also made the panel’s clerk read aloud all of their offered amendments, which is unusual.

But Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., the resolution’s sponsor, said they could not stop the inevitable.

“Secretary Mayorkas is breaking the law. We are going to impeach Secretary Mayorkas today on this committee. We don’t care how long (Democrats) go on,” Greene said.

“Secretary Mayorkas is willfully breaking federal immigration laws,” Greene said. “That’s what we’re talking about today. This is not a policy debate. This is proof you can’t lie about the numbers.”

Democrats countered that Republicans were holding Mayorkas to an unrealistic standard and that the real issue lies with Congress not providing the Department of Homeland Security with necessary funding.

Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., who served as the lead counsel for House Democrats in former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment, said that if Republicans are going to impeach Mayorkas on claims that he fails to adhere to the letter of the law, then they “better impeach every single secretary of Homeland Security from the past five administrations,” because “it’s an impossible standard with the resources that they have.”

Democratic amendments

The panel voted 15-18 along partisan lines to reject five amendments from Democrats, including separate ones that would strike each impeachment article.

Chairman Mark E. Green, R-Tenn., ruled that four other Democratic amendments were out of order because he said they were not germane to the underlying measure, such as a proposal to replace the resolution with language stating that the Mayorkas impeachment is an attempt to distract from Trump’s legal problems.

Committee Democrats wanted to offer more amendments, but the Republicans voted to end debate.

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