GOP Senators hesitant on impeaching DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

"Someone has to commit a high crime or misdemeanor for that to be a valid inquiry."

Updated: December 6, 2022 - 4:09pm

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Whereas House conservatives have repeatedly signaled their interest in impeaching Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of the ongoing migration surge, some GOP senators appear skeptical of such an effort.

Mayorkas has presided over an unprecedented surge in illegal migration at the southern border, with 2.4 million migrants entering the country in fiscal year 2022 alone. As of  late October, nearly 4 million have entered the country since President Biden took office. The porous border has also facilitated a marked rise in drug trafficking, with border officials seizing ever larger amounts of the highly lethal drug fentanyl.

House conservatives have been vocal about impeaching the Homeland Security secretary, with Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs telling Just the News in late September he thought House Republicans would deliver a "unanimous verdict" on removing him from office.

While the House might vote to start impeachment proceedings, Mayorkas's ultimate fate would be the Senate's decision and Republicans in the upper chamber seem cool on removing him without a specific infraction to justify it.

"Someone has to commit a high crime or misdemeanor for that to be a valid inquiry," Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney told Politico. "I haven't seen any accusation of that nature whatsoever. There are a lot of things I disagree with... but that doesn't rise to impeachment."

Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, meanwhile, told the outlet he "hadn't really given any thought" to removing either Biden, Mayorkas, or any cabinet member and added that he hasn't seen Mayorkas commit an act he saw as impeachable.

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins dismissed notions that the upper chamber had had any serious talks about impeaching Mayorkas, saying "[t]hat's not something I’ve heard discussed over here." Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley was also cool on the prospect of a Mayorkas impeachment, asserting that any action on that topic was the prerogative of the House and out of his hands.

Republicans would need to secure 67 votes to remove Mayorkas, a daunting prospect in the closely divided Senate, which is already slated to be in Democratic hands when the next Congress begins. At least some lawmakers, including GOP Sens. Ted Cruz, Texas, and Lindsey Graham, S.C., have warned Mayorkas that he could face impeachment in a GOP-led Congress should he fail to secure the border.

"It is only a matter of time until we will see an attack on American soil from such terrorists," they wrote to him in October. "This is gross dereliction of duty and, if not corrected swiftly, could provide grounds for impeachment. We fully expect that in a few months' time a Republican-led Congress will hold you to account for your willful negligence regarding the security of the southern border and the safety of the American people." 

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