Mayorkas, Garland, Buttigieg emerge as top 3 House GOP targets for removal

Impeachment resolutions have been introduced in the House against attorney general and homeland security secretary, while an Ohio GOP lawmaker has floated impeachment for Buttigieg, citing his belated crisis response to the toxic train derailment in his state.

Updated: February 22, 2023 - 11:16pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook


Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg have each become House GOP targets for removal.

Impeachment resolutions against Mayorkas have been introduced in the House over his handling of the U.S.-Mexico border, where illegal encounters with migrants have reached record levels.

"They will not force me out," Mayorkas said this week in response to the effort to remove him from his post.

According to the impeachment resolution introduced by Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas), Mayorkas has "undermined the operational control of our southern border and encouraged illegal immigration." It has 41 cosponsors.

According to Fallon's resolution, Mayorkas is violating the Secure the Fence Act of 2006, which "requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to “maintain operational control over the entire international land and maritime borders of the United States." 

The resolution also states that Mayorkas has violated the Immigration and Nationality Act, which requires his department to "detain inadmissible aliens arriving in the United States or aliens who are present in the United States without inspection until processed."

According to the text of the resolution, Mayorkas "implemented catch-and-release directives such as the Notice to Report process and the parole plus Alternatives to Detention process" and through these "misguided programs, over 1,000,000 illegal aliens have been recklessly released into the interior of the United States."

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Az.) filed a resolution arguing that Mayorkas is not enforcing existing U.S. immigration laws. Biggs' resolution has also gained a large group of cosponsors

Mayorkas has "violated his oath of office, wreaking havoc on this country, and he must be impeached," Biggs said at a Capitol Hill press conference earlier this month.

Since the FBI's raid on former President Trump's home, several Republican lawmakers have raised the possibility of impeaching Garland. Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene formally introduced an impeachment resolution against Garland in the last session of Congress. Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Scott Perry, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, introduced an impeachment resolution in January under the new House GOP majority.

The resolution charges Garland with using federal government resources as a political weapon. It also chides him for describing parents speaking out at school board meetings during the COVID pandemic as terrorists.

"Attorney General Garland has failed to faithfully uphold his oath and has by his actions, validated the belief of many Americans that the Department of Justice has been transformed into an unstoppable, partisan, Federal weapon used to officially punish political opponents," reads the resolution. 

"Furthermore, devoting valuable Department of Justice resources to demonizing parents expressing constitutional speech — such as questions about alleged sexual assaults — as domestic terrorists would dangerously limit the credibility and ability of the Department of Justice to prosecute verifiable terrorist threats," it reads.

Buttigieg has received bipartisan criticism for not promptly responding to the Feb. 3 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. Buttigieg was also heavily criticized by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle when Southwest Airlines was forced to cancel thousands of flights during the holidays.

Republican House members are now calling for Buttigieg's resignation, mainly over his handling of the toxic train derailment, with Ohio GOP Rep. Warren Davidson suggesting the former South Bend mayor should be impeached.

Buttigieg had said on Tuesday he would visit East Palestine when the time is right. He announced on Wednesday that he's planning a visit for Thursday.