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Republicans move forward with Mayorkas impeachment amid emotional testimony; Dems decry ‘MAGA spectacle’

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Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee pushed forward with their efforts to impeach DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas after emotional testimony from two victims of the border crisis, and Democrats moved to have their own hearing and slammed what they said was a “MAGA spectacle” from the majority.

Republicans on the committee all voted to push forward with the impeachment of Mayorkas, who Republicans have blamed for mishandling the ongoing crisis at the southern border. A markup on the impeachment is expected before the end of the month.

“The Secretary has consistently willfully and systematically refused to follow the laws passed by Congress, abused his authority, and breached the trust of Congress and the American people on numerous occasions,” the 18 Republicans said after the hearing.

HOUSE HOMELAND GOP CALLS FOR MAYORKAS WRITTEN TESTIMONY; DHS SLAMS ‘BAD-FAITH’ IMPEACHMENT PUSH 

“The result of his failure to fulfill his oath of office has been a border crisis that is unprecedented in American history – a crisis that has cost the lives of thousands of Secretary Mayorkas’ fellow Americans,” it said.

The hearing itself, the second impeachment hearing, focused on the victims of crime and featured testimony from Tammy Nobles, whose daughter was killed by an illegal immigrant MS-13 gang member, and Josephine Dunn, who lost her daughter to fentanyl poisoning.

“This is not a political issue. This is a safety issue for everyone living in the United States. This could have been anyone’s daughter. I don’t want any other parent to live the nightmare that I am living,” Nobles said.

“In my humble opinion, Mr. Mayorkas’ border policy is partially responsible for my daughter’s death,” Dunn said, arguing that Arizona has become a “fentanyl superhighway” into the U.S.

But amid that testimony was a fierce political back-and-forth between Republicans and Democrats over the testimony of Mayorkas himself and potential additional hearings. Mayorkas had expressed willingness to testify in-person but had said he couldn’t attend this hearing. Republicans have said the lack of specificity amounts to stonewalling and that they have been trying to get him to testify at a border-specific hearing since August.

DHS pushed back on those claims, accusing Republicans of “playing politics.”

“It’s abundantly clear that they are not interested in hearing from Secretary Mayorkas since it doesn’t fit into their bad-faith, predetermined and unconstitutional rush to impeach him. Last week, the Secretary offered to testify publicly before the Committee; in the time since, the Committee failed to respond to DHS to find a mutually agreeable date,” spokesperson Mia Ehrenberg said ahead of the hearing.

REPUBLICANS, DEMS SPAR AT MAYORKAS IMPEACHMENT HEARING AS STATE AGS DESCRIBE IMPACT OF MIGRANT CRISIS

“Secretary Mayorkas can object all he wants, but the paper trail is clear–he has consistently, tacitly refused to show up,” the majority responded on X, formerly known as Twitter, after accusing Mayorkas of “indefinite delays.”

On Thursday, the White House weighed in, accusing Republicans of “choosing to play extreme, far-right politics” and of “attempting to scapegoat a Cabinet secretary who is actively working to find solutions to a problem Congressional Republicans have spent years refusing to actually solve.”

Democrats on the committee moved on Thursday to request a minority-led hearing, arguing that House rules require such a hearing in an impeachment inquiry. Republicans argued that it is not necessary because they have their own witness at the hearing.

Ranking member Bennie Thompson accused Republicans of having “predetermined the outcome.”

HOUSE HOMELAND DEMOCRATS BACK MAYORKAS, SLAM GOP ‘SHAM’ AHEAD OF IMPEACHMENT HEARING

“This isn’t a real impeachment. It’s a MAGA spectacle, paid for [with] American tax dollars for Republican political gain,” he said.

 The fight is the latest flash point in the battle over the narrative of the border between Republicans and the Biden administration.

Republicans have pinned the crisis on the Biden administration, saying its “catch-and-release” policies, reduced interior enforcement and rollback of Trump-era border policies have sparked the historic surge to the border, leaving Border Patrol agents overwhelmed and unable to stop the influx gotaways and fentanyl.

The administration has said it is dealing with a hemisphere-wide crisis and needs more funding and immigration reform from Congress. It has also pointed to what it says are a record number of removals since May, greater than in all of fiscal 2019, and record seizures of fentanyl at the border.

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