House panel to kick off Mayorkas impeachment hearings next week

House panel to kick off Mayorkas impeachment hearings next week

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House Republicans will initiate a series of impeachment hearings against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas next week, holding the first of four hearings before marking up a resolution that would boot him from office. 

The House Homeland Security Committee on Jan. 10 will review what it dubs the “havoc in the heartland,” a look at how migration has impacted the Midwest.

The hearing is the culmination of a months-long review of Mayorkas’s leadership at the border, one that Chair Mark Green (R-Tenn.) kicked off with a July press conference alleging the secretary had displayed “dereliction of duty” in how he’s handled the border.

The announcement of the hearing, first reported by Punchbowl News, also aligns with a House GOP trip to the border on Wednesday, Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-La.) first as leader of his conference.

Impeaching Mayorkas has been a rallying cry for the right flank of the party — with one lawmaker introducing a resolution to remove him from office as soon as the GOP overtook the House last January.

But the issue has lingered as Republicans were scattershot over which Biden official to impeach, largely shifting their focus to impeaching President Biden himself.

A November effort from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) to force a vote on a Mayorkas impeachment revived the issue.

“Our investigation made clear that this crisis finds its foundation in Secretary Mayorkas’ decision-making and refusal to enforce the laws passed by Congress, and that his failure to fulfill his oath of office demands accountability,” Green, the Homeland chair, said in a statement. 

“The bipartisan House vote in November to refer articles of impeachment to my Committee only served to highlight the importance of our taking up the impeachment process—which is what we will begin doing next Wednesday.”  

Green said in an interview on Fox News last month that articles of impeachment for Mayorkas have already been drafted and would be marked up at the end of the process.

During an appearance on MSNBC Wednesday, Mayorkas said he will cooperate with the inquiry but stressed all the other ways he is remaining focused on his job, including negotiating with the Senate on an immigration package the GOP argues must include restrictions on asylum. 

“I joined the bipartisan group of senators to work on a legislative solution to a broken immigration system. I was on the Hill yesterday to provide technical advice in those ongoing negotiations. Before I headed to the Hill, I was in the office working on solutions. After my visit to the Hill, I was back in my office, working on solutions,” Mayorkas said.

While some Republicans such as Green have claimed Mayorkas is derelict in his duty to manage the border, it’s not clear that is an impeachable offense or even a legal term outside its use in the military. 

Republicans have also claimed Mayorkas has violated the law, failing to meet the standards of the Secure Fence Act, which defines operational control of the border as a status in which not a single person or piece of contraband improperly enters the country. 

But not a single secretary of Homeland Security has met that standard of perfection, something Mayorkas has pointed out as the GOP has grilled him on the law.

“I use a lens of reasonableness in defining operational control. Are we maximizing the resources we have to deliver the most effective results? And under that definition, we are doing so very much to gain operational control,” Mayorkas said, touting the resources sent to the border.

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