Republicans are left with no room for mistake after Rep. Tom McClintock announced on Tuesday that he will oppose the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
If Democrats turn out in full force, Republican leaders in the House cannot afford to lose even one vote due to absenteeism.
A long letter from McClintock (R-Calif.) to his colleagues claimed that the GOP articles against Mayorkas went beyond what the founders would consider an impeachable offence. If Republicans were successful, he said, Democrats might use it as a precedent to attack them later.
“Assuming Congress changes hands, will conservatives on the Supreme Court or a future Republican president be able to use an expansive interpretation of impeachment against them?” Writing was done by McClintock.
Although a Cabinet official might be removed for criminal misconduct, he continued, House Republicans were attempting to go too far by suggesting his removal from office for implementing President Joe Biden’s border policies. A violation of trust and a refusal to comply with the law are the accusations levelled against Mayorkas in the articles of impeachment.
Along with Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), McClintock joins the ranks of Republicans who have publicly stated their opposition to impeaching Mayorkas, marking a watershed moment in the process. The last time a member of the Cabinet was impeached was in 1876. The long-anticipated opposition from McClintock just adds to the air of uncertainty surrounding Tuesday’s scheduled vote.
House Republicans and Speaker Mike Johnson would suffer a humiliating political defeat if they were unable to remove Mayorkas from office, despite mounting demand from their base to remove Biden or another high figure from office. In the case that Mayorkas is not impeached, the possibility of impeaching the president in the future becomes even more precarious.
Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), and David Joyce (R-Ohio) are among the legislators who have openly stated their indecision. While Majority Leader Steve Scalise is away getting treatment for blood cancer, that is. With all Democrats present, the move would fail if just one more dissenting vote were cast against impeaching Mayorkas.
On Tuesday, when asked if he thought he had the votes, Homeland Security Chair Mark Green (R-Tenn.) responded, “We’ll see pretty soon.”