House Republicans’ defeat in their effort to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Monday marks the latest blow to congressional Republicans as they seek to move forward on solutions to the ongoing crisis at the southern border.
Eight Republicans joined House Democrats in voting to advance a proposal that would have impeached Secretary Mayorkas, a move Republicans have been teasing since they took control of the House in early 2023.
While this does not necessarily mark the end of the impeachment effort against Mayorkas — an investigation into his conduct in the House Homeland Security Committee is still ongoing — it represents a major defeat for Republicans in the House.
Democrats block efforts to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas with Republican support
DHS responded by urging Republicans to stop “wasting time and do their job by defunding the government, fixing our broken immigration system, reauthorizing the critical tools of DHS, and passing the Department’s supplemental request to adequately resource the Department’s critical work to stop terrorism.” Fentanyl and continuing to secure our borders.
The statement added, “Secretary Mayorkas remains laser-focused on the safety and security of our nation. This baseless attack is completely baseless and represents a harmful distraction from our critical national security priorities.”
The defeat comes after Republicans upset conservatives and border hawks earlier this year when they tried and failed to tie Legislation 2 — House Republicans’ signature border security and asylum reform legislation — to a continuing resolution to keep the federal government open.
Instead, the House ended up passing a “clean” continuing resolution, which in turn led to the impeachment of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. On Tuesday evening, the House passed another continuing resolution to avoid a shutdown before the holiday season. This also did not include those involved in policies, including those related to border security.
In the Senate, Senate Republicans last week introduced a series of border security-related proposals for inclusion as part of negotiations on a supplemental aid request from the White House. This package is expected to contain funding for Israel, Ukraine and the border.
White House, Senate Democrats reject GOP border security proposals: ‘Total non-starter’
However, the initial Republican proposals were immediately rejected by Senate Democrats as a “non-starter,” while the White House also rejected the proposals. Meanwhile, immigration hawks criticized that the proposals missed some parts of HR2.
A White House spokesperson said: “If Republicans want to have a serious conversation about reforms that would improve our immigration system, we are open to discussion. We disagree with many of the policies in the Senate’s new Republican border proposal.”
However, negotiations are still ongoing as a bipartisan group in the Senate discusses potential provisions that could be included in a supplemental aid package to support Ukraine. But it remains to be seen what such a package would look like. The legislation would need to pass the GOP-controlled House and prevent a Senate filibuster in the Democratic-controlled chamber.
In the House, some conservative Republicans have been sounding the alarm and criticizing their caucus’ work so far, including the failure to pass border security legislation.
“We promised the American people that we would stand up to this administration, cut spending, and secure the border. And we haven’t done any of that yet,” Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, told “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” on Tuesday. .
Roy also warned that, regarding upcoming negotiations, he would not be receptive if “lawmakers try to sell me something and call it border security if it isn’t.”
“Don’t come at me with some nonsense about Ukraine and border security that doesn’t actually secure the border, or we’ll have to call BS about it,” he said.
Immigration hawks also told Republicans they should keep the border at the top of their list of priorities.
“The border crisis is getting worse, and Republicans’ determination to fix it cannot fade as budget negotiations continue,” Laura Rees, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center on Border Security and Immigration, told Fox News Digital.
“In just a few days, the House has allowed Mayorkas to skate by on impeachment while the Senate works on a proposal to undermine Resolution 2, the only serious solution to the crisis we face. A border disaster of this magnitude should not fall on the back burner in favor of the wrong politics and priorities.”
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The border crisis continues. Figures released by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Tuesday show there were more than 249,000 migrant encounters in October, down only slightly from the monthly record set in September, when there were more than 269,000 encounters.
Republicans have continued to blame the Biden administration’s policies for the crisis, while the administration has called for more funding and policy changes to fix what it says is a “broken” system.
Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report.