In a stunning collapse, House Republicans failed Tuesday to approve the impeachment resolution against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, with four Republicans voting against it. Reps. Ken Buck of Colorado, Tom McClintock of California, Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, and Blake Moore of Utah—who switched his vote at the last minute to be able to bring it to a vote again—joined Democrats to defeat the resolution.
One of those Republicans had an all-too rare moment of honesty in this debate, with McClintock calling the impeachment what it was: a “stunt.”
“Cabinet secretaries can't serve two masters. They can be impeached for committing a crime related to their office but not for carrying out presidential policy,” McClintock said Tuesday on the floor, adding that this issue is one that needs to be decided at the ballot box in November. “I'm afraid that stunts like this don't help."
How much of a stunt is it? Republicans have tacitly admitted that the move has been purely political from the beginning, driven as it was by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. In fact, Greene is so instrumental to this impeachment push that prior to the vote, it was reported that she had been tapped to be an impeachment manager in the Senate, presenting the supposed case to the chamber.
It’s also nearly unprecedented. The House hasn’t attempted to impeach a Cabinet member since 1876. But what’s more unprecedented is the House leadership advancing such an historic vote when the outcome was uncertain. Democratic Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi would never have dreamed of bringing a vote of this magnitude to the floor without knowing she had the votes to get it done—nor would former GOP Speakers Paul Ryan or John Boehner have done so, for that matter.
Instead, newbie Speaker Mike Johnson played to his MAGA base. “There is no other measure for Congress to take but this one,” Johnson told reporters Tuesday, ahead of the vote. “It’s an extreme measure, but extreme times call for extreme measures.”
Republicans got exactly what they wanted. Now they’re trying to kill it
Watch: Republicans slammed for 'debasing and demeaning' the Constitution
Republicans admit impeaching Mayorkas is all politics