Washington — The House is expected to vote Tuesday for a second time in a week to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas after Republican leaders suffered an embarrassing defeat in their first attempt.
Mayorkas narrowly survivedafter a small group of Republicans, who said President Biden’s border chief did not commit impeachable offenses for his handling of the U.S.-Mexico border crisis, voted with all the Democrats to sink it.
Republicans vowed they would try again once House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who was undergoing treatment for cancer, returned to Washington. The Louisiana Republicanthis week, giving them a new vote that should tip the scales in their favor, barring absence.
The vote comes on the same day as a special election in New York’s 3rd Congressional District for, which could further reduce the Republican majority in the House. The possibility of Democrats winning the swing seat puts pressure on Republicans to act quickly with another vote.
In a statement released Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security said the impeachment proceedings were “unnecessary,” “unconstitutional” and “baseless.”
The impeachment trial against Mayorkas
Republicans say the Mayorkas should be charged with high crimes for failing to enforce immigration laws. They focused much of their arguments on the failure to detain all migrants pending legal proceedings.
Mayors and Democrats argued it was a matter of political differences, saying Republicans were using impeachment to score political points in an election year. They say it’s up to Congress to fix the “broken” immigration system and allocate more resources to border security.
Legal experts on both sides have also criticized the effort, saying Mayorkas’ actions do not meet the threshold for impeachment.
Last month, Republicans unveiledagainst Mayorkas after running at full speed .
The first article of indictment accuses Mayorkas of releasing migrants into the United States who should have been detained. The second article alleges that he lied to lawmakers about southern border security when he previously said his department had “operational control” of the border, and accuses Mayorkas of obstructing his department’s oversight of his department. Congress.
The Department of Homeland Security said Congress never gave the executive branch the resources and personnel to detain every migrant as required by federal immigration law. He also denied that Mayorkas lied to lawmakers, pointing to how the department uses “operational control” internally.
“The problems with our broken and outdated immigration system are not new,” Mayorkas wrote last month in a letter to Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee, Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. “We need a legislative solution and only Congress can provide it.”
Mayorkas also said pressure to impeach him had not shaken him.
“I assure you that your false accusations do not shake me and do not distract me from the mission of maintaining order and public service in the broad sense to which I have devoted most of my career and to which I remains dedicated,” he previously wrote in a letter to the Committee.
Republican leaders held a close vote last week amid uncertainty over whether they had enough support to impeach Mayorkas.
It looked like the vote was going to succeed, with three GOP defections, until Rep. Al Green was elected.in her hospital scrubs after intestinal surgery. The Texas Democrat tied the votes at 215-215, rejecting the resolution.
A fourth Republican also changed his vote at the last minute to give GOP leaders the opportunity to reconsider the vote, resulting in a vote of 214 for and 216 against.
Scalise was the only lawmaker absent from the vote.
One of the Republican lawmakers who broke with his party, Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, said in a Wall Street Journal article last week that the Republican Party was setting “a dangerous new precedent that would be used against future Republican administrations “. Gallagher announced days after the impeachment vote that he would not run again.
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