Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin explained to the Daily Caller News Foundation on Wednesday why he voted against the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, leading to its failure.
Gallagher is currently the chairman of the House Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party and a four-term congressman. After voting against Mayorkas’ impeachment on Tuesday, causing it to narrowly fail by a vote of 214 yeas to 216 nays, Gallagher told the DCNF that his vote was “a matter of principle.”
“I want to be a team player, but I just saw this issue differently and I felt it was a matter of principle for me. Reasonable people can disagree and I respect people that have a good faith disagreement with my position, but it is what it is,” Gallagher told the DCNF in the speaker’s lobby of the House before he stepped in to cast a vote. “I just didn’t want to contradict the arguments I had made in opposition to the two Trump impeachments.”
Gallagher was joined by Republican Reps. Ken Buck of Colorado and Tom McClintock of California in opposing Mayorkas’ impeachment. A fourth member, Republican Rep. Blake Moore of Utah, supported the impeachment but changed his vote to “no” at the request of House Republican leaders, so as to be able to bring a motion to reconsider the effort later.
The reaction from Republicans, who had called for Mayorkas’ impeachment over many months, to the vote’s failure was visceral. “A resounding betrayal of the American people. As one of 435, we stood firm, voting for impeachment. Now, members are ON THE RECORD, shamefully choosing to snub the will of the people,” wrote Republican Rep. Nancy Mace on Twitter, now known as X, after the vote.
Ahead of the vote, however, signs were evident that the party may not get enough votes. “I think the vast majority will probably vote for it. But the vast majority doesn’t mean anything because we need them all,” Republican Rep. Carlos Gimenez of Florida told the DCNF ahead of the vote.
Gallagher had been previously courted by Senate Republicans to run for a seat in the body in 2024 against incumbent Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, but declined to do so.
“I’ve taken unpopular votes before. I have profound respect for my colleagues’ efforts to fix the problem at the southern border, which is severe. I want to fix the problem at [the] Southern border,” Gallagher said.
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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation