House Republicans moved one step closer to a full impeachment vote against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas early Wednesday morning, approving a set of articles that will bring a vote to the floor as soon as next week.
Axios reports that lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee debated late into the night, and around 1:00 a.m. passed two articles with well-worn arguments for why Mayorkas should be the first Cabinet member to be removed from office in nearly 150 years. The committee voted 18-15 along party lines.
Republicans have accused the border czar of “willfully and systemically refus[ing] to comply” with federal laws restricting illegal immigration. A second article claimed Mayorkas committed a “breach of the public trust” by his dereliction of duty.
“Secretary Mayorkas has also completely disregarded the separation of powers, a bedrock of our constitutional republic,” Homeland Security chair Mark Green (R-TN) said in a statement. “His lawless behavior was exactly what the framers gave us the impeachment power to remedy,”
Democrats quickly pounced, accusing their counterparts of moving forward with impeachment despite lacking evidence that Mayorkas deliberately allowed the flood of illegal crossings that have overwhelmed border officers in recent months.
“What is glaringly missing from these articles is any real charge or even a shred of evidence of high crimes or misdemeanors,” ranking member Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said in a statement.
Even with full attendance, Republicans can only afford to lose two votes on the floor of the House, and Rep. Green has been cagey in public interviews when asked whether he has the votes. However, POLITICO overheard Green saying Monday night that he believes the numbers are there, and he plans to meet with several GOP holdouts in the days ahead. Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN) added that he “imagined” the measure will pass.
Voters are increasingly placing the blame on President Joe Biden for catastrophic migrant crossings that have pushed blue states and sanctuary cities like Chicago and New York to their limits. The White House continues to negotiate with Senate Republicans over conditions for a border deal that comes with funding for Ukraine, and Biden has promised to “shut the border down” if Republicans give him the power to do so. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has dismissed the proposed deal as woefully inadequate, allowing up to 5,000 illegal crossings per day, and insisted President Biden has existing authority to crack down on crossings if he wants.