In a blow to Speaker Johnson’s credibility, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives failed Tuesday night to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The 214–216 vote came after months of House Republicans decrying Mayorkas’s inefficiency in curbing illegal immigration.
Despite immigration shaping up to be a key issue in the 2024 election, the Republicans dropped the ball. As expected, Democrats voted on the party line against the charges, including Rep. Al Green of Texas, who unexpectedly came in from hospital treatment for emergency abdominal surgery to cast his “No.”
Three Republicans, however, Reps. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, Ken Buck of Colorado, and Tom McClintock of California, voted against the impeachment. Rep. Blake Moore of Utah ended up switching his vote to “No” so that the House could potentially try to impeach Mayorkas again. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise missed the vote due to medical issues.
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“Well, we can basically look at this like a game, unfortunately, and there’s strategy,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene told reporters. She blamed the loss on the Democrats playing the game better than the Republicans—using Green’s last minute vote to their advantage.
The impeachment would have been dead on arrival in the Democrat-controlled Senate, but his failure to whip a high-profile vote does not bode well for Speaker Johnson, who has served as speaker for three months. The representatives who voted “No” had not exactly been quiet about their position; back in November, McClintock published a statement denouncing attempts to impeach Mayorkas, calling such an effort “reckless, partisan and unserious.”
The indictment debacle wasn’t Johnson’s only Tuesday failure. A bill to provide Israel with more military aid, separate from Ukraine aid or other budget items, failed 250-180. Under Johnson’s direction, some may forget there’s a Republican majority in the House at all.