House Votes To Impeach Homeland Secretary Mayorkas; Oklahoma Lawmakers React

By one vote, the House majority made Secretary Mayorkas just the second cabinet secretary ever to be impeached.

Wednesday, February 14th 2024, 5:36 pm



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Mission accomplished for the House Republicans who have been determined to make the Biden administration pay a political price for the border crisis. They narrowly impeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Tuesday night, although it likely won't result in Mayorkas’s actual removal from office.

Following the vote, President Joe Biden said history will not look kindly on house republicans for what he says was a “blatant act of unconstitutional partisanship, targeting an honorable public servant.” Republicans say Mayorkas is a horrible public servant, and it was their constitutional duty to impeach him.

By one vote, the House majority made Secretary Mayorkas just the second cabinet secretary ever to be impeached.

"Last night, we proved to America that we can win when we work together and actually hold Democrats accountable," said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who filed the original motion to impeach Mayorkas.

Greene and Republicans want Mayorkas held accountable for, they claim, failing to follow the laws regarding the handling of migrants who cross the border illegally, the number of which have been unprecedented under Mayorkas's watch.

"The crisis we face today is a threat to every single American," Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-OK5) said on the House floor last week, "causing our communities to be less safe, and it is a direct result of the secretary’s actions."

Secretary Mayorkas and Democrats say his actions have been in line with the law; it's the law -- the system overall -- that needs fixing. And they quickly point to the fact that it was Republicans who effectively killed a bipartisan border security and asylum reform agreement just last week.

"Many of the shortcomings Republicans complain about," said Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) following the vote Tuesday night, "are because they won't give him additional legislation to better secure the border."

Constitutional scholars, both Republican and Democrat, argued that Mayorkas's actions--even if they have contributed to border insecurity--don't rise to the level of impeachable offenses.

Members of the Oklahoma delegation couldn't disagree more.

"When a bureaucrat says they are going to suspend congressional law," said Rep. Josh Brecheen (R-OK2) in an interview last week, "it rises to a serious issue, to a constitutional issue."

In a statement Wednesday, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK4) said, “Secretary Mayorkas has failed his constitutional duty, but I will not.”

Now impeached on two charges, Mayorkas would have to be convicted with a two-thirds majority in the Democrat-controlled Senate to be removed from office. Oklahoma Senator James Lankford, fresh off the bitter defeat of his border bill last week, told reporters it's just not realistic to think that will happen.

"It'll fail in the Senate," Lankford said. "If I can use the House term, it'll be 'dead on arrival.'"

The Senate is currently on a two-week break. It's expected the House impeachment managers will present the articles of impeachment when the Senators return on February 26. The trial could start the following day.

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