POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Utah’s House delegation all vote to impeach Biden cabinet official

Feb 14, 2024, 11:30 AM | Updated: 11:58 am

Utah Representatives' vote on DHS Secretary Mayorkas impeachment. UT-1 Blake Moore, voted no in the...

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas testifies during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on threats to the homeland, Oct. 31, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Stephanie Scarbrough, Associated Press)

(Stephanie Scarbrough, Associated Press)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — All four Utah members of the House of Representatives voted to impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Tuesday night.

It is the first impeachment of a sitting cabinet official since 1876, and it passed by a single vote.

Why impeach Secretary Mayorkas?

As the House GOP Vice Chair, Rep. Blake Moore of Utah’s 1st Congressional District, made this second try at impeachment possible by casting a strategic no vote during the last attempt in the House. He told Dave and Dujanovic last week why he supports sacking Secretary Mayorkas.

“Mayorkas has a dereliction of duty. He has violated the law by not adhering to certain standards within the immigration code. And allowing for the catch and release program to exist actually is against the law,” Moore said.

Utah’s 4th Congressional District Rep. Burgess Owens defended his vote against the Secretary, writing on his official X account that “it’s not extreme to demand accountability for the chaos at our southern border.” He wrote a similar statement on his personal X account.

Rep. John Curtis, representing Utah’s 3rd Congressional District, told KSL Newsradio Wednesday morning it did not matter that Mayorkas is simply carrying out the policies of the Biden administration.

“He may or may not be carrying out the will of President Biden,” said Curtis, “but he certainly has the ability to push back and certainly has discretion within his office. We don’t see any of that being exercised at all.”

Frustration with the Biden administration

As for why the House would pass the Mayorkas impeachment to a Democratic Senate, Curtis said it was one of the only available options.

“If you look at the tools we have in the House,” said Curtis, “we don’t get the opportunity to be part of the appointment process of these people that the Senate does. And so, how do we express the frustration? This is one of the few tools we felt like we had.”

Rep. Celeste Maloy, Utah’s 2nd Congressional District representative, has not made a public comment about her impeachment vote yet. However, Maloy and Owens did visit the southern border in a highly publicized trip with House Speaker Mike Johnson last month. She told Dave and Dujanovic that it’s not a partisan issue.

“Republican, Democrat, recent immigrants, everybody’s had it. [Border Patrol’s] systems are overwhelmed.”

However, it was House Republican leaders who torpedoed a bipartisan border deal brokered between the Biden administration and Senate Republicans.

What’s next

Now the Democrat-controlled Senate will take up the impeachment. And Secretary Mayorkas looks safe for now since it would take two-thirds of Senators to oust him.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

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Utah’s House delegation all vote to impeach Biden cabinet official