Top House Republican McCarthy threatens impeachment of Homeland Security
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[November 23, 2022]
By Gram Slattery and Ted Hesson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top Republican in the U.S. House of
Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, on Tuesday called on Homeland Security
Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to step down, warning that the House may
try to impeach him when Republicans take the majority next year.
McCarthy, who hopes to be elected as House Speaker when the new Congress
is sworn in in January, added that his colleagues will hold
congressional hearings at the U.S.-Mexico border after taking control of
the chamber, in what he described as an effort to force Democrats to see
conditions there first-hand.
Republicans have criticized President Joe Biden for record numbers of
migrants caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border during his presidency,
saying Bidenís more lenient policies have encouraged more crossers.
"Our country may never recover from Secretary Mayorkas' dereliction of
duty," McCarthy told reporters in El Paso, Texas, on Tuesday after
speaking with border officials. "This is why today, I am calling on the
secretary to resign."
"If Secretary Mayorkas does not resign, House Republicans will
investigate every order, every action and every failure (to) determine
whether we can begin (an) impeachment inquiry," he said.
DHS spokesperson Marsha Espinosa rejected McCarthy's call.
"Secretary Mayorkas is proud to advance the noble mission of this
Department, support its extraordinary workforce, and serve the American
people," Espinosa said. "He has no plans to resign."
Since winning a narrow House majority in this month's midterm elections,
Republicans have held a series of news conferences to lay out their
priorities for the next two years. Last week they warned that Biden, a
Democrat, and his son, Hunter, will also be top targets.
Democrats will continue to hold a majority in the Senate for the next
two years. While the House has the power to launch impeachment
inquiries, only the Senate can convict an impeachment target, and it is
unlikely that senators from Biden's party would join in ousting a member
of his administration from office.
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U.S. House of Representatives Minority
Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) arrives as House Republicans gather for
leadership elections at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S.,
November 15, 2022. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo
Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
sent Mayorkas a letter last week, notifying him that the panel
expects to call for testimony from 11 employees of the Department of
Homeland Security including Mayorkas himself.
As Biden's top border official, Mayorkas, 62, has been a frequent
target of Republican lawmakers, including some who have previously
called for his resignation and impeachment.
He became the first Latino and foreign-born Homeland Security chief
when he was confirmed to the role in February 2021. He previously
served as deputy secretary of the department during the
administration of former President Barack Obama.
Biden officials say increased migration is a hemispheric phenomenon
that stretches beyond the U.S.-Mexico border and that they are
trying to create a more orderly immigration system.
A U.S. federal judge ruled last week that a pandemic-era order
blocking migrants at the border was unlawful while delaying its
termination until Dec. 21. However, a group of states with
Republican attorneys general moved late on Monday to intervene in
the case and overturn the ruling.
Chris Magnus, former commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border
Protection, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security,
resigned earlier this month after saying he was pressured by
Mayorkas to resign or be fired.
(Reporting by Gram Slattery and Ted Hesson in Washington; Additional
reporting by David Morgan in Washington; Editing by Scott Malone and
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