The Republican Party suffered two defeats in the House of Representatives. Congressmen from this group lost votes on the acceleration of aid for Israel and the formal impeachment of Alejandro Mayorkas, the head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Four Republicans voted against impeachment, which influenced the outcome.
As the New York Times writes, Republicans in Congress suffered a humiliating series of defeats on Tuesday in key elements of their agenda, and several important issues, including aid USA For Ukraine and Israelwas suspended due to political disputes.
Rejected project of support for Israel
The US House of Representatives rejected a bill submitted by Republicans that would allocate $17.6 billion for military support to Israel.
The initiative failed despite obtaining a majority of votes (250-180), because it was proceeded in an accelerated procedure, requiring 2/3 of the votes.
The project assumed spending PLN 9.7 billion to replenish missile resources for Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system and other systems, as well as to finance the transfer of modern weapons and increase the production of artillery ammunition. Another $7.7 billion would go to replenishing the U.S.’s own arsenal, replacing weapons given to Israel.
The bill was submitted just before the Senate officially announced the agreement combining funds for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan with immigration reforms demanded by Republicans.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson opposed the package and claimed that the issue of support for Israel was so pressing that he would not wait for the Senate. The White House and Democrats criticized the move as an attempt to torpedo the Senate deal that the former US president lobbied against. Donald Trump.
– Funds for Israel should not be used for political tricks. Today we were cynically asked by Republicans to support additional measures only for Israel because they are following the orders of Donald Trump, who seeks chaos on our border and success. Vladimir Putin – announced the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee and advocate of support for Israel, Gregory Meeks.
President of the USA Joe Biden announced that he would veto a bill containing only funds for Israel, but not Ukraine.
Despite the defeat of Tuesday’s vote, Johnson and Trump managed to convince their colleagues in the Senate to oppose further proceedings on the border reform package and money for Ukraine.
Although the first vote on this matter is scheduled for Wednesday, it is almost certain that the project will not receive the required 60 votes in the 100-seat Senate. However, supporters of supporting Ukraine among Republicans announced that they would strive to pass a separate package of support for allies, without the immigration restrictions criticized by Trump. Although such a bill has a good chance of passing the Senate, the fate of the package in the House of Representatives is uncertain.
Johnson argued on Tuesday that it was obvious that Israel should be the priority, and when asked about Ukraine, he said he was “not giving up on this issue,” but he still had doubts.
– We will talk about steps regarding Ukraine in the future. It hasn’t been abandoned. “But there’s still more work that needs to be done in terms of the White House’s responses on strategy and the game plan and the accounting of funds and all of these very specific details that the House has to consider to make these tough decisions,” he said.
He also announced that he would soon re-submit a draft of a separate bill on support for Israel, this time according to normal rules, which means that a simple majority is enough for adoption.
The House of Representatives voted against the impeachment of the minister responsible for borders
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives also voted against formally impeaching Alejandro Mayorkas, the head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Republicans They accused him of deliberately causing a crisis on the southern border, but four congressmen from this party voted against impeachment.
216 congressmen, including four Republicans, voted against impeachment, while 214 (all Republicans) voted in favor. The voting was stormy and unexpected, and the fate of the last vote cast was in the balance until the end, determining the failure of the initiative of the Republican leadership.
The vote means that the House – contrary to the announcements of party leaders – did not impeach Mayorkas. The draft resolution on this matter provided for two charges to be brought against him: “deliberate and systematic refusal to obey the law” and “breach of public trust.”
The first allegation concerned, among others, procedures used by DHS, according to which migrants seeking asylum are detained at the border and released into the country and free pending an asylum hearing – which can take years. The second concerns allegations that he made false statements when he told Congress that the border was secure and assured that DHS had operational control over it.
According to data cited by Republicans, under Mayorkas, the number of illegal immigrants detained at the border increased from an average of 600,000 per year during Donald Trump’s administration to two million now. The number of migrants who avoided capture at the border increased from 130,000 to up to 580 thousand per year
Criticism from some conservative circles
The actions of the Republican majority were widely criticized, not only by Democrats and the Joe Biden administration, but also by some conservative experts and the environment. Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, who was an expert for Republicans in Trump’s impeachment cases, said the party had no grounds to impeach Mayorkas because the process is intended to remove officials for committing crimes, not “for being a bad cabinet member or even a bad person.”
The vote is a resounding defeat for House Speaker Mike Johnson and the extreme wing of the party, which has been pushing for months to impeach Mayorkas. If the effort were successful, the DHS chief would be the first Cabinet member to be impeached by the House in 148 years. However, the initiative had no chance of removing Mayorkas from office, because it would require 2/3 of the votes in the Senate, where Democrats have a majority.
Ken Buck, one of the Republican congressmen who voted against impeaching Mayorkas, told CNN that “impeaching a president, an official or anyone else on a partisan vote is always a mistake.”
As the New York Times wrote, Republicans plan to vote on this issue again. “House Republicans continue to intend to bring an indictment against Secretary Mayorkas to the floor once we have enough votes,” Raj Shah, a spokesman for the speaker, wrote on social media.
PAP, “New York Times”, CNN
Main photo source: MICHAEL REYNOLDS/PAP/EPA