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DHS chief shrugs off McCarthy's impeachment threat

By Sarah May
|
January 9, 2023

Despite a threat from new House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to explore the possibility of impeachment proceedings against him, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas remains defiant, declaring that he has no plans to leave his post, as Politico reports.

Mayorkas revealed his stance on the issue during a Sunday appearance on ABC's This Week, prior to accompanying President Joe Biden on his first visit to the southern border as commander in chief.

McCarthy issues warning

As the Associated Press noted in November, following the GOP's success in reclaiming control of the House, McCarthy issued a call for Mayorkas to voluntarily resign from his post due to what he described as the administration's failures regarding border security.

In doing so, McCarthy vowed that his party would employ “the power of the purse and the power of the subpoena” to force accountability for the influx of migrants seen since President Joe Biden ascended to the Oval Office.

“If Secretary Mayorkas does not resign,” McCarthy said at the time, “House Republicans will investigate every order, every action and every failure to determine whether we can begin an impeachment inquiry.”

He further noted that he had already coordinated with the incoming chairs of the Judiciary and Oversight Committees and offered his “full support” to any investigations they plan to launch in this regard.

McCarthy indicated that Mayorkas' resignation needed to be submitted by Jan. 3 and pledged that probes of the administration's approach to the border crisis would begin immediately at the start of the new Congress, stating, “[e]nough is enough.”

Mayorkas unconcerned

Despite those stern warnings, Mayorkas appeared unbothered during his chat with ABC's George Stephanopoulous, saying, “I've got a lot of work to do, and we're going to do it.”

Seemingly concurring with the broader idea that America's immigration system is in dire need of repair, Mayorkas told Stephanopoulous, “We are dealing within a broken immigration system that Congress has failed to repair for decades.”

“And there is unanimity with respect to that reality,” the secretary added, though clearly disagreeing with McCarthy as what the correct solution might be.

Suggesting that the problem of mass migration is not only one plaguing the United States, Mayorkas pointed to large population rises in Columbia and Costa Rica due to surges of arrivals from Venezuela and Nicaragua, respectively.

“The world is dealing with the greatest displacement of people since World War II in the Western Hemisphere. Our entire hemisphere is gripped with a migration challenge,” Mayorkas contended.

Pressure on secretary escalates

In December, a significant cadre of hardline Republicans turned up the heat on calls for Mayorkas' job, with approximately 20 lawmakers and three former DHS officials joining forces to demand change at the top of the agency, as The Hill noted at the time.

One of the most outspoken legislators on the issue of Mayorkas' future has been Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), who introduced articles of impeachment against the secretary in 2021 and said last month, “Now that we have the majority in the House of Representatives, I expect our party to pursue impeachment next Congress.”

“Secretary Mayorkas has committed high crimes and misdemeanors,” Biggs said, adding, “his conduct is not incompetent. It is not negligent. It is willful and intentional.”

Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK), incoming chair of the Republican Study Committee concurred and declared, “You're going to see a lot of sentiment across the conference to have Mayorkas removed from that job and put somebody in to do the job and do it.”

“Obviously, it's not going to happen instantaneously, but you have to point out that issues are out there,” Hern added.

As Fox News reported earlier this month, Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX) has already vowed to file impeachment articles against Mayorkas at the commencement of the new Congress, and whether McCarthy's resolve when it comes to the secretary proves to be as strong has he has recently suggested, only time will tell.