Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) called off her second effort to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Thursday, yanking the resolution just minutes before the House was set to hold a procedural vote on the legislation.
Greene said she canceled the vote after meeting with Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.), who “guaranteed that we’ll be moving forward with impeachment” for Mayorkas.
“My articles of impeachment are in the Homeland Committee, we’ll be picking those up and moving,” she told reporters.
“There was no guarantee on impeachment until today, so I’m satisfied with that,” she added.
The Georgia Republican would not disclose the timeline for proceeding with impeaching Mayorkas, saying they decided not to publicly share it, but said it would happen “very soon.”
Greene, a top Mayorkas critic, moved to force a vote on impeaching the secretary Wednesday, the second time she launched an effort to fast-track a vote on booting the Biden administration official. The House was slated to vote on a Democratic motion to refer the resolution until Greene yanked the vote.
The House on Nov. 13 voted to refer Greene’s Mayorkas impeachment resolution to the Homeland Security Committee, a move that shielded the chamber from having to weigh in on booting the secretary directly. Eight Republicans had joined Democrats in voting to refer the resolution, but one lawmaker, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) had signaled Thursday — before Greene’s withdrawal — that he has shifted his opinion.
Green, the panel’s chair, has launched a five-point plan for reviewing Mayorkas’s performance via a report, accusing him of “dereliction of duty” but otherwise planning to turn the House Homeland report to the Judiciary Committee for further action.
But Greene’s disclosure of the deal could put Republican leadership in a difficult spot, highlighting the pressure Johnson faces from his right flank.
The House Homeland Security Committee and Johnson’s office did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Greene’s enthusiasm for a Mayorkas impeachment — and Johnson’s alleged agreement to a deal to move forward — would also undercut some of his public statements about the need to carefully pursue impeachment investigations without a predetermined outcome before using one of the most powerful tools afforded to Congress.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) highlighted that, blasting the GOP for a move he said “fully exposed” the motivation.
“Tonight, the extreme MAGA Republican effort to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas was fully exposed as the political stunt that it is,” Thompson said in a statement.
“As early as this morning, the Homeland Security Committee Chairman said he did not want to create a ‘false hope’ that his partisan investigation of the Secretary would lead to impeachment. But now, news reports indicate that Members have been promised that impeachment will move through our committee. Apparently, their baseless, so-called ‘investigation’ was just a shell game to justify a pre-determined, evidence-free impeachment over policy differences rather than any Constitutional grounds.”
Green late Thursday knocked Democrats for backing a vote to refer Greene’s earlier resolution to his committee, saying, “you don’t get to vote for something and then complain when it happens.”
“This Committee has been diligently investigating Secretary Mayorkas’ intentional border crisis for most of this year. We are nearing the conclusion, and will—as I’ve said all along—go where the facts lead us,” he added in a statement.
While the withdrawal sidelines Greene’s momentum for now, last week she criticized GOP colleagues who have left an earlier impeachment bill “basically sitting there collecting dust.”
One of those GOP lawmakers, however, flipped their stance on Thursday, with Issa announcing he would now support the impeachment push.
“Mayorkas is the target of a robust impeachment investigation by the House, and it has yielded ample and damning facts that the Secretary has not even attempted to correct or contradict – because he can’t. I was very much looking forward to timely, comprehensive, and public impeachment hearings that are more than warranted. Unfortunately, that is not set to happen soon enough. For these reasons and others, I will vote to recommend Mayorkas be impeached,” Issa wrote in a statement.
Greene’s first privileged resolution to impeach Mayorkas filed earlier this month accuses him of “willful admittance of border crossers,” and says he has a duty to protect the U.S. from an “invasion.” It also alleges that the secretary violated the Secure Fence Act, a 2006 law that demands perfection at the border by declaring the border operationally secure only if no people or contraband improperly enter the country.
DHS on Wednesday called the repeat resolution a “baseless attack [that] is completely without merit and a harmful distraction from our critical national security priorities.”
Mayorkas has also previously pushed back on claims he violated the Secure Fence Act, noting that no administration has met the standard of perfection it requires.
“Obviously a layer of reasonableness must be applied here,” Mayorkas told lawmakers last year when asked about the law. “And looking at that definition through the lens of reasonableness, we dedicate now 24,000 personnel to the border. We are surging increased personnel, facilities, and other methods of support. And in my opinion, operational controls means maximizing the resources we have to deliver the most effective results.”
Updated Friday at 10:23 a.m.