House Votes to Defund Homeland Security Secretary Amid Border Crisis Debate

Alejandro Mayorkas | Source:


The GOP-led House has voted to defund Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, following his impeachment earlier this year over his handling of the border crisis. The measure, spearheaded by Rep. Andy Biggs, aims to strip Mayorkas of funding amid intense partisan divisions.

Why It Matters

Defunding a key figure in the Biden administration underscores the ongoing tensions and dissatisfaction with the administration’s border policies, highlighting concerns about national security and immigration enforcement.

Who It Impacts

This decision impacts American taxpayers, border security personnel, and communities affected by immigration policies.

In a significant move, the GOP-led House voted on Wednesday to defund Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. This decision comes after his impeachment by the House earlier this year, reflecting deep dissatisfaction with his management of the border crisis.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) sponsored the amendment, which aims to cut funding to Mayorkas’s office as part of the appropriations legislation slated to provide tens of billions of dollars to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the next fiscal year. The measure passed with the support of 193 Republican lawmakers, while 172 Democrats and one Republican opposed it. Notably, 72 members, including 28 Republicans and 44 Democrats, did not cast a vote.

“The House just passed my amendment to defund the office of the DHS Secretary,” Biggs announced on X, emphasizing that Mayorkas, who was impeached earlier this year, does not deserve taxpayer funding. This sentiment resonates with a significant portion of the GOP, who view Mayorkas’s tenure as marked by failures in border security and immigration enforcement.

However, the amendment’s future is uncertain. Reporter Anthony Adragna from POLITICO highlighted that similar efforts have been historically stripped out during reconciliations between the House and Senate versions of spending bills. This casts doubt on whether the defunding will survive the legislative process.

In addition to Biggs’s amendment, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) proposed a separate amendment to reduce Mayorkas’s salary to $1, which failed to pass. Another of her amendments, aiming to block DHS from collaborating with the State Department on “Safe Mobility Offices,” was successful.

Mayorkas’s impeachment in February, passed by a narrow 214-213 vote, was historic, marking the first time a Cabinet secretary has been impeached since 1876. The articles of impeachment accused him of willfully failing to enforce federal immigration laws and obstructing lawful oversight of DHS. Despite this, the Democrat-controlled Senate voted to dismiss the articles in April, preventing a trial from taking place.

In his defense, Mayorkas has consistently denied the allegations, labeling them as “false accusations” that would not deter him from his law enforcement duties. “These accusations do not rattle me and do not divert me from the law enforcement and broader public service mission to which I have devoted most of my career and to which I remain devoted,” he stated back in January.