House Impeaches Mayorkas

The House of Representatives voted Tuesday to impeach Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his approach to the U.S.-Mexico border crisis. This is the first time that a Cabinet-level official has been impeached in more than a century.

The impeachment vote passed by a narrow 214-213 margin, sending the next decision to the Senate. With the official impeached, it is up to a supermajority in the Senate to decide whether or not to convict him and remove him from office.

However, since the Democrats control the other chamber of Congress, it is unlikely.

Majority Whip Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) said that the vote was due to the secretary’s “willful refusal to enforce federal law,” which he argued “created an unprecedented crisis at our southern border and left innocent Americans to pay the price.” Emmer further said that Mayorkas “failed to do the honorable thing by resigning.”

The news was met with enthusiasm from Congressional Republicans, with House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) writing on social media that the House Homeland Security Committee had taken a “careful and methodical approach to this investigation and the results are clear: from his first day in office, Secretary Mayorkas has willfully and consistently refused to comply with federal immigration laws, fueling the worst border catastrophe in American history.”

He also argued that the DHS secretary had “undermined public trust through multiple false statements to Congress, obstructed lawful oversight of the Department of Homeland Security and violated his oath of office.”

Johnson said that Mayorkas “deserves” his impeachment and that after declaring war, “impeachment is arguably the most serious authority given to the House and we have treated this matter accordingly.”

Johnson had earlier promised an impeachment vote “as soon as possible.”

This was the second such effort to impeach Mayorkas over the past week. The first effort failed due to Rep. Steve Scalise’s (R-LA) absence due to cancer treatment. Now with the Louisiana Republican back in the chamber, the motion passed by a single vote.