Congress

House votes to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

House Republicans claim the homeland security secretary has "refused to comply with the law" to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

House votes to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Alex Brandon / AP
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The House of Representatives has voted 214-213 to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. 

Mayorkas is the first sitting cabinet secretary in American history to be formally impeached.

Secretary of War Alexander Belknap was nearly impeached in 1876, but he resigned mere minutes before the vote to impeach took place.

Unlike Belknap, Mayorkas has the backing of his administration. He will continue in his role as Homeland Security Secretary. 

The U.S. Senate is now constitutionally required to hold an impeachment trial, where Mayorkas is expected to be acquitted.

Scripps News has learned that the Senate's impeachment trial will begin February 26th.

Speaker Mike Johnson held the House's second vote on the impeachment on Tuesday evening.

House Republicans failed to impeach Mayorkas last week after three Republicans voted with Democrats to sink the resolution.

This time, Republicans only needed a simple majority for impeachment to go through.

'Democracy is messy': Johnson reacts to failed Mayorkas impeachment
'Democracy is messy': Johnson reacts to failed Mayorkas impeachment

'Democracy is messy': Johnson reacts to failed Mayorkas impeachment

The House speaker said on Tuesday that he would bring the articles of impeachment for a vote again once Rep. Steve Scalise is back on the job.

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House Republicans say Mayorkas is guilty of "high crimes and misdemeanors," claiming he has "refused to comply with the law" to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. 

House Democrats have defended Mayorkas, saying he is working within the confines of the law. They add that House Republicans have refused to negotiate on border legislation. 

Earlier this month, a bipartisan group of senators unveiled a package that they said would have addressed the border crisis. It was even backed by the Border Patrol Union. However, Johnson said it would have been dead on arrival in the House. 

Democrats accuse House Republicans of playing politics with the immigration topic rather than trying to fix the issue. Republicans claim President Biden can secure the border by enforcing laws that are already on the books.