House Impeached Mayorkas By Razor-Thin Margin

By Robert Cunningham, updated on February 14, 2024

A historic vote cast amidst a nation's scrutiny.

The House of Representatives has impeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

In a historic and contentious vote that took place on Tuesday night, the House decided the fate of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. With a final vote tally of 214-213, the narrow margin underscored the intense division within the House and set the stage for a Senate trial unlikely to lead to a conviction.

Struggle for Accountability in a Divided House

House Speaker Mike Johnson did not mince words when he released a statement following the vote.

From his first day in office, Secretary Mayorkas has willfully and consistently refused to comply with federal immigration laws, fueling the worst border catastrophe in American history. He has undermined public trust through multiple false statements to Congress, obstructed lawful oversight of the Department of Homeland Security, and violated his oath of office... Alejandro Mayorkas deserves to be impeached, and Congress has a constitutional obligation to do so. … Since this Secretary refuses to do the job that the Senate confirmed him to do, the House must act.

The allegations against Mayorkas are severe, with Johnson accusing him of contributing to a border crisis, making false statements to Congress, and obstructing lawful oversight. These claims are not only about policy disagreements but also about the very integrity of the oath of office and the rule of law as perceived by the accusers.

A Contentious Path Forward in the Senate

While the House has made its judgment clear, the Senate presents a different challenge. With the Democratic majority in control and the requirement of a two-thirds vote to convict, the path to Mayorkas's removal seems steep. The Senate is poised to take up the case after returning to session on February 26, but the outcome appears predictable in the eyes of many.

President Biden has responded to the impeachment with severe criticism, labeling it as "a blatant act of unconstitutional partisanship." His defense of Mayorkas portrays the Homeland Security Secretary as an honorable public servant caught up in what the President deems petty political games.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer echoed the sentiment of partisanship, calling the impeachment a "new low for House Republicans." Schumer's comments reflect a belief that the impeachment is less about accountability and more about a political spectacle aimed at appeasing certain political figures rather than serving the public interest.

Reflecting on the Historical Context

The historical significance of this impeachment cannot be overstated; Secretary Mayorkas is the first cabinet member to be impeached since Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876. This rare invocation of congressional power speaks to the gravity of the accusations and the boldness of the current House.

The political divide is palpable, with even some Republicans such as Mike Gallagher, Tom McClintock, and Ken Buck opposing the impeachment in both attempts. Their dissent highlights that the decision is not strictly along party lines but rather a matter of individual conscience and interpretation of the law.

This impeachment also reflects current political tensions, with accusations of obstruction and false statements suggesting a deep-seated concern for the state of immigration laws and oversight in the country. The repercussions of this vote could echo throughout the remaining tenure of the administration and beyond.


The impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas marks a significant moment in American politics, with the House's razor-thin vote reflecting a nation divided. The allegations of failing to comply with federal immigration laws and making false statements hold profound implications for the integrity of public office.

Despite the House's decision, the Senate's upcoming deliberation is anticipated to favor Mayorkas, given the Democratic majority and the high threshold for conviction. The historical rarity of such an impeachment underscores the seriousness of the charges, while the bipartisan opposition within the House indicates a complexity of perspectives on the issue.

As the country awaits the Senate's action, this event will undoubtedly remain a critical point of discussion in the ongoing narrative of American governance and the rule of law.

About Robert Cunningham

With years of experience at the forefront of political commentary, Robert Cunningham brings a blend of sharp wit and deep insight to his analysis of American principles at the Capitalism Institute.

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