Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas narrowly avoided impeachment Tuesday, as the vote to oust him failed by a vote of 216-214.
It had been 215-215, but a Utah congressman switched his vote from “yes” to “no” in the last moments before voting closed.
Rep. Blake Moore, who was recently elected as vice chair of the House Republican Conference, switched his vote to join three other Republicans who voted no on the impeachment articles — Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis.; Tom McClintock, R-Calif.; and Ken Buck, R-Colo.
But Moore’s reason for voting “no” was different from the other GOP congressmen.
“Congressman Moore changed his vote from ‘yes’ to ‘no’ as a procedural move so that House Republicans could bring the impeachment resolution up for another vote. As shown by his initial ‘yes’ vote, he is supportive of impeachment,” a spokeswoman for Moore’s office told the Deseret News.
After House leaders saw the vote would not go their way — since a tie vote is technically a loss — Moore switched his vote so that he can “move to reconsider” the resolution at a future date.
Moore, who represents Utah’s 1st District, had initially voted in favor of the resolution, joining his fellow Utah Republican Reps. Celeste Maloy, John Curtis and Burgess Owens, in their support of impeaching Mayorkas.
But Republicans have only a razor-thin majority in the House, and three “no” votes meant they could not get the impeachment articles over the finish line.
Republicans have blamed Mayorkas for the border crisis, and in the impeachment articles, Mayorkas is accused of violating “laws enacted by Congress regarding immigration and border security. In large part because of his unlawful conduct, millions of aliens have illegally entered the United States on an annual basis with many unlawfully remaining in the United States.”
In a letter to Rep. Mark Green, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, as the committee was about to take up the impeachment articles, Mayorkas wrote that “the problems with our broken and outdated immigration system are not new” and called on lawmakers to pass legislation on the “historically divisive issue,” according to CNN.
A spokesman for House Speaker Mike Johnson said Republicans “fully intend” to vote again on the articles of impeachment “when we have the votes for passage,” according to The Associated Press.