Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas survived a House Republican effort to impeach him Tuesday.
A motion to impeach Mayorkas, something long sought by GOPers, failed 214-216, with four Republicans joining all Democrats against the motion.
More from Deadline
Republicans leaders had sought to impeach Mayorkas over the crisis at the southern U.S. border. But Republicans including Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) opposed the measure, arguing it would set a precedent for Democrats to try to remove Cabinet members in a Republican administration.
Mayorkas would have been the first Cabinet secretary to be impeached. In 1876, William Belknap, the Secretary of War, resigned before a House vote.
Even before Republicans took control of the House, Mayorkas was a target of GOP ire, as he was blamed for the increase in border crossings.
The vote took place just hours after Senate Republican leadership declared that a bipartisan deal for border security was dead.
As a further sign of the deadlock, the House also was on track to fall short of passage of a bill to provide aid to Israel. Democratic leaders opposed the measure, out of concern that it would foreclose action on other aid to Ukraine and Taiwan.
Even if Republicans had voted to impeach Mayorkas, the Democratic-controlled Senate likely would have voted against conviction.
“The principle is very clear, that Mayorkas did not commit a high crime and misdemeanor,” Buck told CNN after the vote. That said, he predicted that there would be another vote Wednesday and that it would pass when one absence, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), returned.
After the defeat, backers of the effort to impeach Mayorkas complained that Democrats had pulled a fast one. “They hid one of their members, waiting at the last minute, watching to see our votes, trying to throw us off on the numbers that we had versus the numbers that they had,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) told reporters afterward. Republicans thought that Rep. Al Green (D-TX) would be absent from the vote, as he had recent surgery. But he appeared on the floor, reportedly in a wheelchair and still in a hospital gown, to cast his vote.
White House spokesperson Ian Sams said, “Clearly there is bipartisan agreement that this baseless, unconstitutional impeachment stunt should fail.”
Best of Deadline