House Republicans Mull Second Attempt to Oust Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 02/12/2024
House Republicans are making a second attempt to remove Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Tuesday's vote is expected to be successful with Majority Leader Steve Scalise's return and if all members vote the same as last week.

The $95.3 billion national security supplemental is another item on the Senate's agenda this week. If approved, it would force Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to address Ukraine assistance, a subject that has been divisive among House Republicans. On Sunday, senators moved the plan forward.

Back in the House, after Congress authorized a temporary renewal of the country's warrantless surveillance capabilities last year, members may take up legislation pertaining to those powers this week. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reforms have generated a lot of controversy on Capitol Hill.

This week, voters in New York's third congressional district will choose a new representative to replace outgoing Representative George Santos (R-N.Y.), who was booted from Congress last year. All eyes will be on this area. Congressmen are keeping a close eye on the Long Island election to see how it may affect the already precarious GOP majority in the House.

Tuesday is the second attempt in a week by House Republicans to remove Mayorkas from office; the first attempt was unsuccessful on the House floor. But this time, when Scalise returns to Washington, they are confident about their chances.

Scalise abstained from the vote due to his cancer treatment, while three Republican members rejected the impeachment attempt, giving Mayorkas more time to serve out his term without the stain of impeachment. As a result, the impeachment attempt failed last week, 214–216.

Republicans, however, are certain that they can impeach the troubled cabinet secretary this week: if all legislators show up and cast their votes in the same manner as they did last week, with Scalise voting in favor of it, the final vote total would be 216-215, which is only the minimum to punish Mayorkas.

Reps. Ken Buck (Colo.), Tom McClintock (Calif.), and Mike Gallagher (Wis.), the three Republicans who voted against impeachment last week, are unlikely to switch their votes. Gallagher said over the weekend that he would not seek reelection this year, distancing himself from any potential political consequences of his vote. Buck also told The Hill after the initial referendum that he is "not switching my vote" if the articles were to come back to the floor.

Republicans are accusing Mayorkas of both "breach of trust," which charges him of failing to fulfill his duties, misleading Congress, and obstructing its investigation, and of "willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law," based on claims that he broke immigration laws by not detaining a sufficient number of migrants.

Mayorkas dismisses GOP's "baseless charges" in interview, remains focused on the Department of Homeland Security's work. When asked whether he was accountable for the state of affairs at the border, Mayorkas said Congress needed to pass legislation. Earlier this month, a group of senators from both parties came together to reveal a border security pact, but conservatives in both houses swiftly destroyed it.

"It is undeniably a problem, and, you know, we are working very hard inside a dysfunctional system and we do not take responsibility for it," he said. "But basically, Congress is the only body that has the power to repair this."


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