Republicans just earned their first intraparty “no” vote on their sham impeachment effort against Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas: Colorado Representative Ken Buck.
“The people that I’m talking to on the outside, the constitutional experts, former members agree that this just isn’t an impeachable offense,” Buck told reporters Thursday outside the House chamber.
“It’s maladministration. He’s terrible,” the Republican representative added, referring to Mayorkas. “The border is a disaster, but that’s not impeachable.”
Buck’s announcement raises doubts as to whether or not the House will even be able to push forward an impeachment vote, as Republicans grapple with a razor-thin two seat majority in the lower chamber. While the effort may still have a shot with the help of some Democrats in swing districts, a solid “no” vote from inside the party certainly doesn’t help.
In an interview with MSNBC, Buck argued that a policy disagreement isn’t a valid basis to oust the cabinet member, specifying that Mayorkas’s decisions on the border don’t constitute a “high crime or misdemeanor.”
“This is a policy difference,” Buck said. “If we start going down this path of impeachment with a cabinet official, we are opening a door, as Republicans, that we don’t want to open. The next president who is a Republican will face the same scrutiny from Democrats. It’s wrong and we should not set this precedent.”
Buck had been undecided on the vote prior to speaking with Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green and committee staff, reported NBC News. House Republican leadership did not make an effort to speak with him, he told the outlet.
Republicans plan to bring the impeachment articles to the House floor next week. Should the effort prove successful, it will force a trial in the Senate.
The effort to impeach Mayorkas gained new traction on Sunday when the House Homeland Security Committee released two articles of impeachment, the first of which described the Biden administration’s border policies as a crime and the second accused Mayorkas of lying to Congress and obstructing an official investigation.
Tensions have been boiling over between the two parties since Texas defied a Supreme Court ruling that determined that state’s use of concertina wire along the Rio Grande section of the U.S.-Mexico border went beyond its authority. Meanwhile, Republicans continue to stall on a legitimate border security deal in a thankless attempt to bolster Donald Trump’s re-election campaign—a move that a growing number of conservative lawmakers appear to disagree with, including Senator Kevin Cramer and Representative Dan Crenshaw.