The House voted Monday to effectively kill Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s motion to impeach Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas — after several Republicans voted alongside Democrats to prevent Mayorkas from becoming the the first cabinet secretary in 147 years to be impeached.
Eight House Republicans joined Democrats in voting to refer the impeachment resolution to the Homeland Security Committee, a move that sidelines the resolution for now.
Greene (R-Ga.) proposed one article of impeachment against Mayorkas and accused him of violating a 2006 law that mandates the DHS maintain complete “operational control” of the border — which Greene and others say hasn’t been upheld.
Greene filed a motion to impeach Mayorkas last week as a “privileged” resolution, which forces the House to take action on the measure within 48 hours.
Greene, who on Tuesday said “Congress has failed to act on the overwhelming evidence to impeach” Mayorkas, said she took the shortcut route in response to a Texas car chase earlier this month that involved a Honduran smuggler and left eight people dead, according to police.
Mayorkas has argued that the law effectively means a complete abolishment of both illegal immigration and influx of contraband, a standard of perfection Mayorkas has repeatedly said is impossible to meet.
“Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas, in his inability to enforce the law, has engaged in a pattern of conduct that is incompatible with his duties as a civil officer of the United States,” Greene said Monday on the House floor. “While some of my colleagues have argued we need to proceed through regular order to pursue impeachment proceedings . . . Congress has failed to act on the overwhelming evidence to impeach Secretary Mayorkas.”
Department of Homeland Security spokesperson Mia Ehrenberg blasted Greene’s proposal as “baseless” in a statement Thursday. “Instead of continuing their reckless impeachment charades and attacks on law enforcement, Congress should work with us to keep our country safe, build on the progress DHS is making, and deliver desperately needed reforms for our broken immigration system that only legislation can fix,” she said.
A coalition of House Republicans have blamed Mayorkas and the Biden Administration for the influx of migrants, which has increased throughout his term with the expiration of more restrictive Covid-era immigration policies. In August, Customs and Border Patrol arrested an all-time record of 91,000 migrants for crossing the border illegally. Republicans, upon regaining control of the House and its committees in last year’s midterm elections, have opened numerous investigations into Biden’s border policies and have called Mayorkas to testify before committees eight times this year.
The House has only voted to impeach one other cabinet official, William Belknap, a secretary to former President Ulysses S. Grant, in 1876. The majority of the Senate voted in favor of all five articles of impeachment against Belknap, accused of taking bribes, but did not meet the two-thirds threshold needed to remove him from office.