On February 6, 2024, Republicans in the House of Representatives tried but failed to impeach Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. The final vote was 214-216. Republicans accused Mr. Mayorkas of failing to maintain operational control of the border, among other things.
Despite the impeachment defeat, some Republicans said they would work on revisiting that effort, including Rep. Mark Green (R-TN), chair of the Homeland Security Committee, and a spokesperson for House Speaker Mike Johnson, who said they would reconsider impeachment “when we have the votes for passage.”
The Department of Homeland Security previously said in a statement that Republicans “don’t want to fix the problem; they want to campaign on it. That’s why they have undermined efforts to achieve bipartisan solutions and ignored the facts, legal scholars and experts, and even the Constitution itself in their quest to baselessly impeach Secretary Mayorkas.” In the same week as the impeachment vote, Senate Republicans killed a border security bill that had been in the works for months and was touted as a bipartisan way forward.
Only one cabinet member has ever been impeached in U.S. history. Secretary of War William Belknap was impeached in 1876 for corruption. A group of 25 constitutional law experts issued a letter to Rep. Green in January objecting to the impeachment efforts against Mr. Mayorkas as “utterly unjustified as a matter of constitutional law.” They said, “If allegations like this were sufficient to justify impeachment, the separation of powers would be permanently destabilized.”
- House Vote to Impeach Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas Fails, Thwarted by Republican Defections, Associated Press (Feb. 7, 2024)
- House GOP Releases Impeachment Articles in Bid to Oust Homeland Security’s Mayorkas Over the Border, Associated Press (Jan. 28, 2024)
- Articles of impeachment and related press releases
- Senate Republicans Knife Bipartisan Border Security Bill, Declaring It Dead, NBC News (Feb. 6, 2024)
- Constitutional Law Experts on the Impeachment Proceedings Against Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas (Jan. 10, 2024)
- Mayorkas Impeachment Effort is Nothing Like the Only Other Cabinet Impeachment From 1876, CNN (Feb. 6, 2024)