The House Homeland Security Committee will begin impeachment proceedings against embattled Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on January 10.
The first hearing will be held the day after the House returns from its Christmas break.
“Our investigation made clear that this crisis finds its foundation in Secretary Mayorkas’ decision-making and refusal to enforce the laws passed by Congress, and that his failure to fulfill his oath of office demands accountability,” the committee’s chairman, Mark Green, told Punchbowl News. “The bipartisan House vote in November to refer articles of impeachment to my Committee only served to highlight the importance of our taking up the impeachment process – which is what we will begin doing next Wednesday.”
Mayorkas has been a top target of Republicans amid never before seen numbers at the border – in December, generally a slower month for migration, migrant encounters reached a record 302,000. Yet Republicans have accused their own leadership of slow-walking efforts to impeach Mayorkas.
In November, the House sidelined a resolution from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to impeach the embattled Secretary by referring it to the committee by a 209-201 vote. A frustrated Greene forced a vote on her privileged resolution after two of her constituents were killed in Texas in a head-on collision with a car driven by a human smuggler evading police.
Border security is certain to be a top issue in 2024 on Capitol Hill. The announcement from Green came as about 60 Republicans assembled on the southern border Wednesday, hosted by border district Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX).
In the upper chamber, Senate negotiators continue working towards a compromise pairing tens of billions in foreign aid with a border security package. Negotiators are working with the political reality that House Republicans continue insisting they want the House-passed H.R. 2, perhaps the most significant border security package passed by a congressional chamber in decades, as the baseline for a compromise.
House GOP insistence on pairing aid to Ukraine and Israel with a truly substantive border security package has led Senate Republican foreign policy hawks – including many who have historically given little more than lip service to the need to secure the border – to call for meaningful changes in border policy. The dynamics have encouraged border hawks, who rightly see the fervent desire to continue funding the war in Ukraine of the internationalist wing of the party as the best leverage in years to enact meaningful policy reform.
Yet absent a breakthrough in negotiations – which is not expected soon, if ever – the kickoff in committee of the Mayorkas impeachment proceedings will be the first significant action of the new year on this topic.
The committee may hold an additional hearing the following week. However, the House will want to act fast, as GOP leadership is also planning to hold hearings to impeach President Biden, with the goal of bringing that vote to the floor as soon as February.
Meanwhile, the unprecedented flow of migrants across the southern border with the blessing of Biden and Mayorkas will continue.