The House recently voted to refer an impeachment resolution against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to committee instead of holding a direct vote, blocking the impeachment attempt for now.
The House of Representatives took steps this week to block an impeachment attempt against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Rather than holding a direct vote on impeachment, the House voted 209-201 to refer the impeachment resolution to the Homeland Security Committee for further review.
Background of Impeachment Attempt
The impeachment resolution was introduced by Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. It accused Secretary Mayorkas of failing to uphold his duties related to border security and immigration enforcement.
Specifically, the resolution alleges that Mayorkas allowed an “invasion” of undocumented immigrants across the southern U.S. border with Mexico. It cites a recent incident where a suspected human smuggler crashed into another vehicle in Texas, killing eight people, as justification for impeachment.
Greene has been a vocal critic of Mayorkas’ leadership at the Department of Homeland Security. Other House Republicans have also threatened impeachment proceedings due to their dissatisfaction with Mayorkas’ border policies.
Referral to Committee Blocks Immediate Impeachment
By referring the impeachment resolution to the Homeland Security Committee rather than holding a direct vote, the House avoided an immediate vote on impeaching Secretary Mayorkas. This effectively blocks the impeachment attempt for now.
The referral passed with the support of 209 Democrats and 8 Republicans. Only 201 Republicans voted against the referral.
Greene reacted angrily to the referral vote, stating “I cannot believe this. I’m outraged.” She suggested she may reintroduce the impeachment resolution in the future.
Unlikely Mayorkas Would Be Removed if Impeached
Even if the House eventually votes to impeach Secretary Mayorkas, removal from office is unlikely given the current political dynamics.
Impeachment requires a majority vote in the House. But removal from office would require a two-thirds vote in the Senate, which is currently controlled by Democrats.
Only one cabinet secretary in U.S. history – Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876 – has ever been impeached. Belknap was acquitted by the Senate after impeachment.
Ongoing Criticism from Republicans
Despite the blocked impeachment attempt, Republicans in Congress continue to direct criticism at Secretary Mayorkas’ leadership.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other GOP representatives blame Mayorkas for problems related to illegal immigration and border security. Some lawmakers believe Mayorkas has committed “impeachable offenses.”
With Republicans now the majority party in the House, they are likely to continue applying pressure on the Biden administration over immigration policies. However, successfully impeaching and removing Secretary Mayorkas remains an uphill battle given the current political dynamics.