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US House fails to impeach Homeland Security Secretary; shows GOP ‘vulnerability’

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Washington, Feb 7: The Republicans led House of Representatives failed to impeach the Homeland Security Secretary Alejadra Mayorkas on charges of treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanours, which shows the GOPs “vulnerability” and speaker Mike Johnson’s “incompetence”.

“Once Johnson’s speakership was merely implausible. Now it looks incompetent,” media reports said.

The back bencher, comparatively new to the high-profile job in the house, legislators dubbed the Louisiana Republican as a “rookie”, already struggling to wield a tiny, extreme and malfunctioning majority.

Johnson suffered a spectacular embarrassment on Tuesday night in a failed vote to impeach Mayorkas.

The theatrics in the house completely undermined what seemed an already questionable case for impeachment – more over policy disagreements than the constitutional standard of treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors, the CNN reported.

The narrative was that of a divided party and a House in utter disarray. Setting up a high-stakes, televised tour de force for the impeachment of a Cabinet official for only the second time in history was a daring act. But failing to actually pull it off by a couple of votes broke the cardinal rule of not putting a bill on the floor until the numbers are rock solid, media reports said .

The result was a debacle that made the House leadership a laughing stock, CNN said, adding, the failure played into the hands of a White House that delights in portraying Johnson’s majority as an engine for Donald Trump’s political stunts more than a serious governing force.

GOP came under a shadow for its ability to pull off another politicised maneuver designed to please the former president — an impeachment of President Joe Biden, that was to follow in days to come.

The “malpractice” of Johnson’s impeachment team was encapsulated by Democrats out manoeuvring them to bring a shoeless Rep. Al Green, who was recovering from surgery, to the chamber in a wheelchair to cast the dramatic vote to derail the impeachment process, reports said.

Moments after the Mayorkas impeachment failed, Johnson was also unable to pass a standalone bill containing billions of dollars in aid for Israel. It was another busted gambit to jam the Biden administration. The president had threatened to veto the bill protesting Johnson’s refusal to hold votes on a broader package that also included aid to Ukraine and Taiwan.

The speaker said Biden and Democrats should be “ashamed” of failing to support an ally embroiled in a war. But the double failure on the House floor did more to highlight his own deficiencies than discomfort Biden, media reports said.

The House GOP meltdown came as this divided, angry Congress’ capacity to govern at the most basic level appeared to be imploding.

After months of demanding hardline changes to asylum policies to cope with a rush of undocumented migrants at the southern border, Johnson and House Republicans killed the most conservative potential new immigration law in decades — apparently because Trump, the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, wants to demagogue the crisis until November, the reports said.

IANS

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