Senate readies for Mayorkas impeachment showdown

Michael Macagnone, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in Political News

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said Tuesday he had not decided how he may vote on a move to quickly dispense with the articles, telling reporters, “I have not read them yet.”

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, argued the Republicans’ dire warnings about the institution are overblown. He pointed out that most Republicans voted to dismiss the impeachment of former President Donald Trump, the same thing they complain Democrats plan to do, in 2021.

“Everybody just needs to take a deep breath. We’re all doing our jobs here,” Schatz said. “Not everything is the end of the institution.”

Republican Whip Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., told reporters Tuesday that there are talks behind the scenes over whether there would be a time agreement for debate before a planned vote to dispense with the articles.

Thune said, for instance, Schumer could move to table the charges, which would not be debatable, or move to dismiss them, which would be.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., said Republicans had discussed a possible offer from Democrats that would allow for several hours of debate Wednesday before the chamber takes any vote to dispense with or table the articles of impeachment.

Even without an agreement, Tillis said Republicans can offer up objections and try to force votes but may not have much power over the process.

“You can consume time but at the end of the day the majority has full control,” Tillis said.

Immigration focus


The Mayorkas impeachment is one aspect of the broader fight between Republicans and the Biden administration over immigration and border policy that has interwoven with election-year politics.

Rep. Mark E. Green, R-Tenn., the chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security and lead impeachment manager, read out the articles Tuesday on the Senate floor, which criticized Mayorkas for the number of border crossings, backlog in the courts and immigrants let into the country who later committed crimes.

The House passed two articles in February, for “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and “breach of public trust” tied to the Biden administration’s immigration policies, on a 214-213 vote.

Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., told reporters Tuesday the “catastrophe” at the border the party’s No. 1 priority in the House. He called on the Senate to hold a trial for Mayorkas promptly, saying he “has repeatedly violated the public trust in a way that no previous cabinet secretary in the history of the United States has.”

That has also included court spats between the Biden administration and Texas, where the Republican-led state government has passed a law allowing state officials to effectively deport immigrants.

Johnson also called for tougher border controls Tuesday, including shutting down the border entirely. “If this is not the time it is in the nation’s interest we don’t know when it will be,” Johnson said.

The full list of managers includes Republican Reps. Michael McCaul of Texas, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Clay Higgins of Louisiana, Ben Cline of Virginia, Michael Guest of Mississippi, Andrew Garbarino of New York, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, August Pfluger of Texas, Harriet M. Hageman of Wyoming and Laurel Lee of Florida.


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