Historic vote: DHS Secretary Mayorkas has been impeached by the House of Representatives

The Secretary of Homeland Security was accused of "willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law" and "breach of trust."

The House of Representatives has impeached Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas with a vote of 214-213. Now the resolution will go to the Senate, where the Democratic majority will surely vote against the impeachment, acquitting the secretary. However, the fact that the articles of impeachment have been approved in the House is already historic; the last time a cabinet secretary was impeached was 148 years ago.

This is the second impeachment vote on Mayorkas held in the full House. Last week, a vote was held that ended in failure for the Republicans since they did not obtain the necessary votes to carry out their initiative. Four Republicans voted against impeachment, including Rep. Blake Moore (R-Utah), who changed his vote at the last minute so the resolution could be reconsidered this week to pass the impeachment articles.

This Tuesday, the House voted again on impeachment after the return of Steve Scalise, the majority leader, who had not been able to participate in the last vote as he was receiving medical cancer treatment. The Republican returned this week, and with his vote, the Republicans managed to approve the historic impeachment.

The articles of impeachment against Mayorkas accuse him of “breach of trust” and a “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law.” Republicans in favor of impeachment have assured that the secretary must respond to the disaster taking place at the border. House Speaker Mike Johnson said, “It’s time to impeach Secretary Mayorkas. Secretary Mayorkas has refused to comply with the law and breached the public trust. As a result, our border is less secure than ever.”

In general, all Republican representatives agree that Secretary Mayorkas has failed in his work to keep the border safe; however, for the three Republicans who voted against the impeachment, the secretary’s actions are not a crime, and therefore, the requirements for impeachment are not met.

The three Republicans who voted against Mayorkas’ impeachment are Ken Buck, Mike Gallagher and Tom McClintock. Colorado Representative Ken Buck stated that although Mayorkas has not done what is necessary to stop the disaster at the border, there are differences in policies, but the secretary “has not committed a high crime or a misdemeanor.”

Mike Gallagher, from Wisconsin, said regarding his vote against impeachment that “Creating a new, lower standard for impeachment, one without any clear limiting principle, wouldn’t secure the border or hold President Biden accountable.” California Representative Tom McClintock asserted, “The Constitution reserves impeachment for treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors. Mayorkas is guilty of maladministration, but that is not grounds for impeachment.”

Republicans have pledged from the beginning that their job is to make the government respond to the border crisis, so even though it is clear that the impeachment of Mayorkas will not be successful in the Senate, the House Republicans have decided to present their arguments against the Secretary of Homeland Security and move forward with the historic vote.