Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday demanded the resignation of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and warned of possible impeachment proceedings if he does not step down, marking the House Republican leader’s strongest comments on the issue to date as he works to lock in votes for his position as president. .
McCarthy, speaking at a southern border event, said when Republicans take possession of the house in Januarythey “will investigate every order, every action and every failure” to determine whether to initiate impeachment proceedings.
“Our country may never recover from Secretary Mayorkas’ dereliction of duty. That is why I am today calling on the secretary to resign,” he said. “If Secretary Mayorkas does not resign, House Republicans will investigate every order, every action, and every failure. And we will determine if we can open an impeachment inquiry.
The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that Mayorkas does not intend to resign and called on Congress to come up with legislative solutions to fix the country’s broken immigration system. The agency continues to maintain that the border is secure, but acknowledged that it is facing an unprecedented number of non-nationals seeking to enter the country and that changing demographics have added to the migration challenges they face. .
“Secretary Mayorkas is proud to advance the noble mission of this department, support its extraordinary workforce, and serve the American people. He has no intention of resigning,” a DHS spokeswoman said in a statement. “The Department will continue its work to enforce our laws and secure our border, while building a safe, orderly and humane immigration system. Members of Congress should come to the table and work on solutions for our broken system and our outdated laws, which have not been reviewed for over 40 years.
While McCarthy and top Republicans have repeatedly promised to launch rigorous investigations in the southern border issues, McCarthy had – until now – largely suppressed impeachment talk, saying they would not predetermine the outcome or use impeachment as a political weapon and follow the facts where they lead next year.
McCarthy’s change of tone comes as it is facing a rebellion from his right flank in the race for speaker, with at least five House Republicans vowing to vote against him on the floor in January. One of the complaints about McCarthy from GOP extremists is that he isn’t aggressive enough on investigations and impeachment.
The right flank has rallied to impeach Mayorkas in particular, though others in the party doubt the secretary’s actions will hit the felony bar. The removal of a Cabinet official has happened only once in the history of the United States.
McCarthy – who was appointed by his party last week to serve as a speaker — made his comments on Mayorkas from El Paso, Texas, where he and a group of House Republicans met with Border Patrol agents and received an operational briefing earlier in the day.
“We spent the day with border agents,” McCarthy told a news conference after their visit. “I asked everyone that this border be secured. They laugh. They said no; it is one of the worst times in the history of this nation.
When asked what potential crimes Republicans would investigate, McCarthy replied, “Lying to the American public, stopping ICE from doing its job, not following the laws on the books today.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded to McCarthy’s planned visit to the US-Mexico border earlier Tuesday by asking what his plan is on immigration and accusing Republicans of not having “no plan” and just “political stunts”.
“The question we have for Kevin McCarthy – soon to be President McCarthy – what is his plan? What is he doing to help the situation we see. What is his project? He goes out there and does a political stunt, like a lot of Republicans do, which we’ve seen them do, but he doesn’t actually present any plan, ”said Jean-Pierre when asked about the reaction of the White House to the McCarthy’s visit.
Republicans have already started laying the groundwork for border-related investigations next year. Top GOP lawmakers have requested a wide range of documents related to the Biden administration’s enforcement of immigration policies and have officially told the White House that they would like to eventually hold hearings and conduct transcribed interviews with Mayorkas. and a number of other officials.