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GOP Leader McCarthy calls on Homeland Security secretary to resign over border issues

McCarthy said that if Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas does not resign, the new House Republican majority will investigate him with an eye toward possible impeachment.

Appearing with Republicans in El Paso, Texas, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday called on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to resign for failing to secure the southern border.

If Mayorkas does not resign, McCarthy warned, House Republicans will investigate him and his department to determine whether to launch impeachment proceedings.

Specifically, McCarthy pointed to recent suicides of Border Patrol agents; the Biden administration’s decision to end the "Remain in Mexico" policy, a Trump-era program designed to restrict immigration at the southern border; and Biden’s efforts to end Title 42, a Trump-era Covid policy that allowed authorities to limit asylum-seekers from crossing the border.

“His actions have produced the greatest wave of illegal immigration in recorded history. Our country may never recover from Secretary Mayorkas’s dereliction of duty,” said McCarthy, flanked by fellow House Republicans. “This is why today I am calling on the secretary to resign. He cannot and must not remain in that position.

“If Secretary Mayorkas does not resign," McCarthy continued, "House Republicans will investigate every order, every action and every failure, [and] will determine whether we can begin impeachment inquiry.”

A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security responded in a statement later Wednesday, saying, "Secretary Mayorkas is proud to advance the noble mission of this Department, support its extraordinary workforce, and serve the American people. The Department will continue our work to enforce our laws and secure our border, while building a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system."

"Members of Congress can do better than point the finger at someone else; they should come to the table and work on solutions for our broken system and outdated laws, which have not been overhauled in over 40 years," the spokesman said.

McCarthy's remarks come as he struggles to lock up support from the 218 Republicans he needs to win the vote for speaker on the House floor on Jan. 3.

Many conservatives who are withholding support are insisting that House Republicans impeach Mayorkas when they take power next year. McCarthy’s remarks Tuesday were seen as part of his efforts to shore up support from some of those recalcitrant conservatives.

A White House spokesman noted in a tweet that McCarthy had traveled to the border and called for Mayorkas' resignation in April, to no avail.

"McCarthy went to the border, staged a political stunt devoid of any solutions, and threatened to impeach Sec. Mayorkas. In April," White House spokesman Ian Sams said in a tweet.

"He is literally dusting off old news, instead of learning lessons from House Rs’ historic midterm underperformance."