Despite a recent stumble in the House of Representatives, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is determined to see Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas impeached. The vote to impeach Mayorkas over his management of the border crisis and a $17.6 billion aid package for Israel did not pass, but Johnson insists this is just a minor setback in the democratic process.
Speaking to the press at Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Johnson acknowledged the failed impeachment vote as a disappointment, but remained optimistic about the chances of success in future attempts. “Last night was a setback, but democracy is messy,” he said, referring to the slim majority the GOP holds over the Democrats in the House. He further expressed his conviction that the articles of impeachment would be passed in the next round without specifying a date.
Johnson’s comments were made in the wake of a surprise appearance by Rep. Al Green (D-TX), who arrived at the last minute to cast his vote despite recovering from abdominal surgery in a hospital. Johnson noted that unexpected attendance can shift the balance of voting outcomes.
Three Republican lawmakers defected during the vote and sided with the Democrats, arguing that issues with border security were rooted in policy disagreements rather than actions warranting impeachment. The late switch of GOP Vice Chairman Blake Moore (R-UT) to a ‘no’ vote caused a tie, giving Republicans another opportunity to present the impeachment resolution in the future. This renewed chance hinges on the return of Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), who is currently undergoing cancer treatment.
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Johnson stressed the need for accountability, saying it was lawmakers’ duty to hold Mayorkas and the Biden administration responsible. He also criticized the majority of House Democrats who voted against the Israel aid bill, accusing them of doing so for political gain. Despite this, he remained hopeful about the Senate’s potential approval of a $118 billion package that includes border security reforms and funding for Ukraine, Israel, and other international causes.
He also defended his leadership amidst criticism suggesting his lack of experience had contributed to the House’s difficulty in passing measures. Johnson dismissed claims that the removal of former Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as Speaker was a disaster for the GOP, saying, “It was a mess what happened here, but we’re cleaning it up … I don’t think this is a reflection on the leader, it’s a reflection on the body itself.”