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GOP lawmakers banded together to file an additional resolution that would impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, filing a second bill to do so less than a month into the new Congress.
The resolution filed Wednesday comes after its sponsor, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), promised a resolution with “even more justification” than a first resolution filed immediately after the Speaker’s race concluded.
Biggs called Mayorkas “chief architect of the migration and drug invasion at our southern border” in a press release announcing the move and argued the uptick in migration is a result of a “willful and intentional” violation of Mayorkas’s oath of office.
But Biggs’s efforts clash with those in the party who say impeachment should follow a thorough inquiry, a promise House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) made in November when he said the GOP would “investigate every order, every action” to determine whether to begin an inquiry.
House Republicans are split over how to pursue the topic and how speedily to do so.
“We made the argument that impeachment was rushed — the second impeachment — and I think that’s not who we are as a party,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) previously told The Hill in reference to the second impeachment of former President Trump.
He said it’s the committees of jurisdiction that should be leading the inquiry.
“We need to have hearings on this and we need to gather evidence and facts and, look, do I think the guy has done a terrible job? Yes,“ McCaul said. “Do I think he’s been derelict in his responsibilities? Yes. But we need to get all this together, and do it in a methodical way.”
Biggs’s resolution is largely based on the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which requires the Homeland Security secretary “take all actions the Secretary determines necessary and appropriate to achieve and maintain operational control” of the border.
But the law, true to its name, primarily deals with fencing. It says the the secretary should weigh operational control for the border in regards to both surveillance and “physical infrastructure enhancements.”
Only one Cabinet member has been impeached in history — former President Grant’s secretary of war, William Belknap, who was accused of taking kickbacks from a contractor he appointed to run the trader post in Fort Sill, Okla. Belknap resigned before facing an almost-certain Senate conviction, a fate that’s unlikely to play out with Mayorkas given the Democratic majority in the upper chamber.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) didn’t immediately respond to request for comment, but the agency has previously noted Mayorkas has no plans to resign.
“Secretary Mayorkas is proud to advance the noble mission of this Department, support its extraordinary workforce, and serve the American people. The Department will continue our work to enforce our laws and secure our border, while building a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system,” DHS said after the introduction of the first resolution.
“Members of Congress can do better than point the finger at someone else; they should come to the table and work on solutions for our broken system and outdated laws, which they have not updated in over 40 years.”