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Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz and other Republican senators called for a full trial over Alejandro Mayorkas’ impeachment. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Republicans Can’t Force the Senate to Remove Mayorkas, So They’re Delaying It

The Senate is expected to quickly move to dismiss impeachment articles against the Homeland Security secretary — and conservatives are not pleased.

The Senate will almost certainly quickly dismiss articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. But in a victory — sort of — for Republican senators, it won’t be this week.

House Speaker Mike Johnson opted on Tuesday to delay sending articles of impeachment against Mayorkas to the Senate until next week at a group of conservative senators’ request.

The senators framed the delay as a win at a press conference, arguing it would better the chances that lawmakers consider the articles rather than immediately tabling them so they could skip town. The articles were originally expected to be delivered to the Senate this week.

“The benefit of the delay is — duh — that we have the chance to talk about the issue,” Sen. John Kennedy said, replying to a question about why the timeline mattered.

“You’re aware on Thursday afternoons, senators rush to the airport to fly out of here,” Sen. Ted Cruz said. He added: Majority Leader Chuck “Schumer wants it on a Thursday afternoon because he wants no coverage and wants it to go away quickly. The advantage of starting the week with it is it enables the Senate to focus on it.”

The House voted to impeach Mayorkas in February over his handling of the southern border, arguing he either mishandled or deliberately caused an influx in unauthorized migration. However, the House delayed sending articles of impeachment to the Senate until after dealing with assorted spending bills.

But Democrats control the Senate, and Schumer plans to move to table a trial.

“We are going to try and resolve this issue as quickly as possible,” Schumer told reporters on Tuesday, adding that “impeachment should never be used to solve policy disagreements.”

It’s not clear that all Republicans are on board with removing Mayorkas either. Sen. Mitt Romney said earlier in the day that while he disagrees with the actions the secretary is taking, “it is the wrong policy, but it’s not a high crime or misdemeanor.” He did not say whether he would vote to table the articles.

Republican senators said at the press conference that failing to hold a full trial would be a disservice to the American people, vaguely threatening that it could imperil future efforts to impeach other presidents and public servants.

But ultimately, there’s little they will be able to do to force this one. Kennedy said they plan to “have lots of points of order, and we will have lots of motions,” but acknowledged it’s possible they won’t even be recognized.

“This is certainly the most violent act undertaken at the United States Senate — violent against the institution of the Senate and its time-honored traditions — since November 2013 when Harry Reid deployed the nuclear option on the filibuster,” Sen. Mike Lee said.

Ryan Hernández is a NOTUS reporter and an Allbritton Journalism Institute fellow.