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House Denies Impeachment, Alejandro Mayorkas Retains Homeland Security

  • Mayorkas survives impeachment attempt by House Republicans
  • Motion fails by a narrow margin of 214-216
  • Four Republicans join Democrats in voting against the motion
  • Impeachment sought by GOP leaders over crisis at the southern border
  • Republican lawmakers argue against setting a precedent for removing cabinet members
  • Mayorkas would have been the first cabinet secretary to be impeached
  • Mayorkas blamed for the increase in border crossings
  • Bipartisan deal for border security declared dead by Senate Republican leadership
  • House also falls short of passing a bill to provide aid to Israel
  • Democratic leaders oppose the measure, concerned about impact on aid to Ukraine and Taiwan
  • Even if impeached, Mayorkas likely would not have been convicted by the Democratic-controlled Senate

Introduction

The House of Representatives has rejected a motion to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, dealing a blow to House Republicans who have long sought his removal. The motion failed by a narrow margin of 214-216, with four Republicans joining all Democrats in voting against it. The impeachment attempt was centered around the ongoing crisis at the southern border, with Republicans blaming Mayorkas for the increase in border crossings.

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Impeachment Motion Fails

The motion to impeach Mayorkas failed to garner enough support, with just two votes making the difference. Republicans including Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), and Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) opposed the measure, arguing that it would set a precedent for Democrats to try to remove cabinet members in a Republican administration. Mayorkas would have become the first cabinet secretary to be impeached since 1876, when William Belknap, the secretary of war, resigned before a House vote.

Target of GOP Ire

Mayorkas has been a target of Republican criticism even before they took control of the House. He has been widely blamed by GOP lawmakers for the increase in border crossings and the ongoing crisis at the southern border. The failed impeachment motion was seen as a culmination of these ongoing tensions.

Deadlock on Border Security and Aid to Israel

The vote on Mayorkas’ impeachment came just hours after Senate Republican leadership declared that a bipartisan deal for border security was dead. This further highlighted the deadlock and partisan divisions on immigration issues. Additionally, the House was also on track to fall short of passing a bill to provide aid to Israel. Democratic leaders opposed the measure, expressing concerns that it would hinder action on other important aid packages for Ukraine and Taiwan.

Likely Senate Outcome and Future Vote

Even if Republicans had succeeded in impeaching Mayorkas, it is unlikely that he would have been convicted by the Democratic-controlled Senate. Republicans like Rep. Ken Buck acknowledged this, stating that Mayorkas did not commit a high crime and misdemeanor. However, Buck predicted that there would be another vote on Wednesday, and with the return of House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), the motion would pass.

Conclusion

The failed attempt to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas highlights the deep divide and ongoing tensions between House Republicans and the Biden administration over the crisis at the southern border. While Mayorkas survives for now, the possibility of future impeachment attempts and continued political battles over immigration policy loom. As the situation at the border remains a pressing issue, the focus will now shift to finding bipartisan solutions and addressing the underlying causes of the crisis.

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