Read the House GOP’s articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas

House Republicans on Sunday released two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas as they vowed to swiftly push forward with election-year efforts to oust the Cabinet member over what they call his failure to manage the U.S.-Mexico border.

Texas Republican files articles of impeachment against Mayorkas

A Texas Republican has filed articles of impeachment against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, wasting little time in the new Congress to act on a GOP priority leadership has said would come after thorough investigation.

Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas) filed the paperwork for the resolution on Jan. 3, the first day of the 118th Congress, though with delays in securing a House Speaker, the document was officially filed late Monday.

The resolution claims Mayorkas “engaged in a pattern of conduct that is incompatible with his duties,” complaining that he has failed to maintain operational control over the border.

The resolution comes amid a busy week in the Biden administration. President Biden visited the border over the weekend for the first time since taking office, pledging to deliver more resources to the officers who patrol the region.

And Mayorkas is in Mexico this week, meeting with officials there on a variety of issues, including the shared migration agreement rolled out by the Biden administration last week.

Mayorkas is also due to discuss coordination on transnational crime with Mexican authorities.

Fallon’s resolution won’t move without further action from GOP leadership, but it would otherwise jump-start a process House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has treaded carefully on.

“House Republicans will investigate every order, every action and every failure will determine whether we can begin impeachment inquiry,” McCarthy said at a press conference in El Paso, Texas, in November.

Still, impeachment charges against Mayorkas were all but certain under Republican control of the House, as the DHS secretary has been a constant foil for the party during the Biden administration.

Republicans claim that under Biden, the DHS has dismantled the border security apparatus built under former President Trump, leading to border chaos.

The primary basis for the articles of impeachment is the claim that Mayorkas lied to Congress — a case they back by pointing to two instances in which the secretary told lawmakers he believed the Southern border was under control.

“His willful actions erode our immigration system, undermine border patrol morale, and imperil American national security. He must be removed from office,” Fallon said in a release.

DHS said Tuesday that Mayorkas has no plans to resign and argued that the grounds for impeachment pointed to by the GOP were both inaccurate and failed to meet the standards to qualify as high crimes and misdemeanors.

“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,” Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Marsha Espinosa said in a statement.

“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.”

Most border and immigration analysts agree that increased migration due to security, economic and governance conditions in the Western Hemisphere is the primary reason for the high number of migrants encountered at the border.

Attorney General Merrick Garland, left, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speak before a meeting with President Joe Biden and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, Monday, Jan. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

And Mayorkas has taken flak both from the right and the left, as the DHS has maintained many of the Trump administration's border policies, which immigrant advocates say violate human rights.

Still, Republicans see the border as a winning issue for them, and Mayorkas is the Biden administration's face on that issue.

Mayorkas, the first Latino to ever hold that post, has often butted heads with congressional Republicans at oversight hearings.

In April, Mayorkas clashed with Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, including a notable exchange with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) over the agency's record on deportations from the interior of the country.

That combative exchange could set the tone for impeachment proceedings.

The potential for a political circus is concerning for Republicans fresh off a nationally televised Speaker's race that highlighted divisions in the party.

Some Republicans have expressed reservations about going after Mayorkas without careful study. 

“You’ve got to build a case. You need the facts, evidence before you indict,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas).

“Has he been derelict in his responsibilities? I think so,” he added.

—Updated at 5:15 p.m.

Five things to know about Andy Biggs

Rep. Andy Biggs (Ariz.) on Monday night announced that he’ll challenge House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) to become the Republican conference’s nominee for Speaker of the House. 

“We have a new paradigm here, and I think the country wants a different direction from the House of Representatives. And it’s a new world, and, yes, I’m going to be nominated tomorrow to — to the position of Speaker of the House,” Biggs said on Newsmax.

The Arizona lawmaker had argued last week that the party should reconsider rallying behind McCarthy, who announced his bid the day after the midterm elections.

McCarthy won an internal vote on Tuesday to become the House Speaker, 188-31, but will still have to gain a majority of 218 votes in his favor when the next Congress begins on Jan. 3, assuming a fully sworn-in House.

Republicans’ anticipated “red wave” failed to rush over the nation with hoped-for GOP wins in the midterms. Democrats were able to buck historical precedent and hold on to power in the Senate and put up a tougher-than-expected fight for the House. 

Now, a week after Election Day, votes are still being tallied to determine which party will snag the lower chamber majority. Republicans believe they’ll grab control with a slim majority.

Here are five things to know about Biggs as he makes his bid to take the top Speaker spot and challenge longtime GOP leader McCarthy:

Served as Freedom Caucus chairman

Biggs was formerly the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, a far-right bloc now led by Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.).

The caucus is known for its confrontational tactics and willingness to criticize House GOP leadership, making the group a potential challenge for McCarthy if he does become Speaker. 

The group has also pressed GOP leadership to make rule changes that would empower individual members in the House Republican Conference, including a tweak that would let any member to make a “motion to vacate the Chair,” or oust the Speaker. 

Introduced articles of impeachment against Mayorkas

Biggs has introduced articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a target of conservatives critical of the Biden administration’s policies and action on the U.S.-Mexico border. 

“Mayorkas and [U.S. Attorney General Merrick] Garland have purposefully made our country less safe, politicized their departments, and violated the rule of law. In some instances, they have instructed their subordinates to disobey our laws. That is unacceptable,” Biggs said earlier this year.

“Next January I expect the House to pursue my impeachment articles against Mayorkas,” he added.

McCarthy has also expressed that impeachment could be possible for Mayorkas if the secretary was found to be failing in his task to secure the border, though the likelihood of any success for such an initiative is low, even in a chamber with a slim GOP majority. 

Friendly with Sen. Sinema

Biggs and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D), who has been accused by others in the Democratic Party of apathy toward some of the party’s issues, have been friendly since their days working together in the Arizona legislature.

"I love Andy Biggs. I know some people think he's crazy, but that's just because they don't know him," Sinema said of Biggs, according to New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns in their book “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future.” 

Biggs is one of the most conservative members of Congress and has resisted President Biden's 2020 win in Arizona, which Biden flipped from red to blue.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) on Sunday said Sinema “did nothing” to help the state's Democrats in the midterm elections and accused her of wanting her party to lose.

Considered a Senate bid

The Arizona Republican weighed a bid to jump from the lower chamber up to the Senate.

Biggs said last year that he was “seriously considering” a run as former President Trump readied to boost his supporters in their midterm bids. 

Biggs, a longtime ally of the former president, would have faced off against incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly (D), who was projected last week to defeat Republican challenger Blake Masters in one of the races that was key to boosting Democrats to hold their Senate majority.

The congressman ultimately decided to run for a fourth term in the House and is projected to win his district by a wide margin.

Subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 committee

The former Freedom Caucus chairman has come under scrutiny for his involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot after he touted Trump’s false claims of election fraud during the 2020 presidential election. 

The House select committee investigating Jan. 6 subpoenaed Biggs and a handful of other GOP House lawmakers, including McCarthy, after they refused to voluntarily testify.

The committee alleged that Biggs was involved in “plans to bring protestors to Washington for the counting of Electoral College votes” and "efforts to persuade state officials that the 2020 was stolen.” 

The panel named Biggs among a number of Republican lawmakers who asked for presidential pardons for their role in trying to overturn election results in certain states on Jan. 6.

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