Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick voted Tuesday to impeach U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and issued a statement on the immigration reform bill that includes national security funding.
Fitzpatrick, a Republican, joined with many of his Republican colleagues to impeach Mayorkas, but the impeachment effort ultimately failed.
In a statement, the congressman said Mayorkas “categorically failed” to handle illegal immigration at the U.S. border with Mexico. He stated that he felt the secretary had been “retreating” from policy and federal laws.
The vote on Tuesday wasn’t Fitzpatrick’s first related to impeachments. He voted in 2019 and 2021 against impeaching then-President Donald Trump, who ended up being impeached both times in the House but not convicted in the Senate.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre this week called the Mayorkas impeachment effort “unconstitutional,” citing opinions from two conservative legal commentators. She also said some members of the GOP in the House were against the impeachment effort.
Amid political tensions, a bipartisan Senate proposal aiming to tighten migration controls at the U.S.-Mexico border while providing aid to countries like Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan was introduced earlier this week.
Despite President Joe Biden’s support and months of negotiations leading to the bipartisan proposal, House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican, quickly deemed the bill “dead on arrival.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell asked his Republican colleagues to vote for the measure in the Senate.
At a White House press briefing Jean-Pierre, stated that the bill would help alleviate problems at the border.
“This is not about politics. This is about bipartisan solutions to help the American people and secure the border,” she told reporters.
Trump has attacked the measure and asked Republican lawmakers to not support it. He is running for election.
Fitzpatrick’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment or a request for an interview on Tuesday.
In the statement posted to his website, Fitzpatrick, a supporter of continued military aid of Ukraine and increased security at the border, said “lawmakers must rise above partisan gamesmanship and come together to solve problems for the American people, when presented with the opportunity.”
“If we choose to do nothing, my colleagues are embracing the destructive status quo and risk the safety of our constituents. This ‘Never Get to Yes’ mentality will cost lives. To not even consider the merits of the negotiated bipartisan Senate package nor propose meaningful amendments is the height of putting politics above all else. We must do better,” Fitzpatrick said.
A report from Politico on Wednesday said Fitzpatrick was collaborating with several Democrats on a new national security package, including funding for Ukraine and border security.
Ashley Ehasz, a Democrat running against Fitzpatrick, said Fitzpatrick and the House Republicans are in “chaos.”
“Our allies in Ukraine and Israel are paying the price. Rather than working to find real solutions, Fitzpatrick is now just co-chair of the Problem Creators Caucus. Enough is enough – send aid to our allies now,” she said in a social media post.
Below is Fitzpatrick’s full statement that was posted on his website:
“I have witnessed firsthand the crisis at our southern border that has become a significant humanitarian and national security threat. Secretary Mayorkas has categorically failed in stemming the flow of illegal immigration at our border and worsened the situation on the ground by retreating from the Remain in Mexico policy and rigorous enforcement of 8 U.S.C 1325 and 1326.
At the same time, when our country is facing numerous challenges on the national security front both at home and abroad, it is totally unacceptable that House leadership and a group of “Always say No” Senators deemed the bipartisan Senate border security bill dead on arrival before even reading the bill.
When faced with such a dire national security threat on the border, in addition to raging wars in the Middle East and Europe, and the reality of our divided government, lawmakers must rise above partisan gamesmanship and come together to solve problems for the American people, when presented with the opportunity. This is what elected representatives are sent to Washington to do—to fix problems and make our country better.
We cannot play politics with our national security, when there are countless lives jeopardized each and every day due to the existing open border policies. We cannot wait until November and accept the status quo. The price of inaction is just too high, as fentanyl continues to flow across the border killing our fellow Americans and cartels exploit the porous border for criminal activity.
As the National Border Patrol Council, the official union representing the women and men on the frontlines of the crisis on our southern border, stated in its endorsement of the bipartisan border security package: “The Border Act of 2024 will codify into law authorities that U.S. Border Patrol agents never had in the past. This will allow us to remove single adults expeditiously and without a lengthy judicial review, which historically has required the release of these individuals into the interior of the United States. This alone will drop illegal border crossings nationwide and will allow a great many of our agents to get back to detecting and apprehending those who want to cross our borders illegally and evade apprehension. While not perfect, the Border Act of 2024 is a step in the right direction and is far better than the status quo…”
If we choose to do nothing, my colleagues are embracing the destructive status quo and risk the safety of our constituents. This “Never Get to Yes” mentality will cost lives. To not even consider the merits of the negotiated bipartisan Senate package nor propose meaningful amendments is the height of putting politics above all else. We must do better.”