News: House Homeland Security Committee Chair Mark Green (R-Tenn.) is holding individual meetings with skeptical Republicans to convince them to support impeaching DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Green told us that he’s working on convincing “less than a handful” of Republican members dubious about whether Mayorkas has met the level of high crimes and misdemeanors to justify impeachment. The chairman wouldn’t say whether he has the votes for impeachment yet.
“We’re going to sit down with them one-on-one, which we’ve already started,” Green said. “I’ll be surprised to get any Democrats, although behind the scenes they’ll tell you Mayorkas should’ve been fired months ago. It’ll probably be a [party-line] vote.”
Every vote counts here, with Republican leaders navigating one of the narrowest margins in congressional history. Depending on when the House votes on impeachment, Republicans could potentially afford to lose only two votes if all Democrats are present and opposed.
Impeaching Mayorkas has been a top goal for House conservatives, who pushed Green late last year to expedite his probe. Green spent nearly a year investigating what he says is Mayorkas’ “dereliction of duty” at the U.S.-Mexico border. The committee will mark up an impeachment resolution on Jan. 31 after holding just two impeachment hearings.
While we anticipate any impeachment vote will be along party lines, here’s who we’re keeping an eye on:
→ Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) told us he has an “open mind” and spoke with Green and his staff, but also plans to chat with outside constitutional experts before making a decision. Buck has also been noncommittal about the House GOP effort to impeach President Joe Biden.
→ Rep. Dave Joyce (R-Ohio) refused to say if he would vote to impeach Mayorkas but said he is willing to sit down with Green and his staff if asked.
→ Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) is also keeping his cards close to his chest when it comes to impeachment. McHenry, who is clearly exasperated by House conservatives’ throwing the chamber into chaos, said he “hasn’t studied it at all.”
→ Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) has been a leading impeachment skeptic. McClintock has consistently ripped the push by his colleagues to impeach Biden and Mayorkas, warning against redefining such efforts.
→ Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) told us he will “listen carefully on the case for and against” impeaching Mayorkas, but typically has a high bar for impeachment. Bacon added that he thinks there’s been a clear dereliction of duty on the southern border.
Meanwhile, all 18 Republican members of the Homeland Security panel put out a statement on Thursday saying they back impeaching Mayorkas following the panel’s second hearing.
Democrats to watch: It’s no secret House Democrats are fired up about the border, as we reported last week. Fourteen Democrats joined Republicans to vote for a resolution this week that condemned the Biden administration’s “open border” policies.
But, we didn’t find any Democrats who back impeaching Mayorkas.
“It’s a political stunt. It’s not going anywhere,” said Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.).
Reps. Henry Cuellar and Vicente Gonzalez, two Texas Democrats who are angry about the border crisis, also said they don’t see how impeaching Mayorkas solves the situation.
— Mica Soellner