May 22, 2024
Republicans are negotiating a structure with Democrats for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas' impeachment trial that allows them to get as many votes on the record as possible ahead of Democrats' push to dismiss the trial.
Republicans are negotiating a structure with Democrats for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ impeachment trial that allows them to get as many votes on the record as possible ahead of Democrats’ push to dismiss the trial.



Senate Republicans are looking to hold as many votes as possible during the initial proceedings of the impeachment trial into Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas before Democrats in the chamber are expected to succeed in dismissing the trial. 

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., explicitly stated his intent to seek a dismissal of the House-passed articles of impeachment during a speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday morning. While he had previously indicated that he wanted to quickly get past the proceedings, he had yet to confirm the Democratic plan to dismiss the trial. 

According to five Senate Republican sources familiar with the discussions, the structure of the proceedings is being negotiated with the Democrats. 


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The two parties are looking into a potential agreement for unanimous consent, in which Republicans are allowed to propose eight total points of order against the motions to dismiss. Each point of order, or fact that senators determine whether there is agreement on, will require its own vote. Lengthening the process and requiring Democrats to go on record on several components of the impeachment articles against Mayorkas. 

Schumer noted in his chamber floor speech on Wednesday that he would look to appease Republicans by allowing both points of order and debate time. “When we convene in trial today to accommodate the wishes of our Republican Senate colleagues, I will seek an agreement for a period of debate time that would allow Republicans to offer a vote on trial resolutions, allow for Republicans to offer points of order and then move to dismiss,” he said. 

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This agreement will require that no senator objects, and Schumer urged them not to. 

The unanimous consent agreement which is being sought between the parties would allow 90 minutes of open debate after the senators are sworn in as jurors at 1:00 p.m. Then, two resolutions would receive votes, one from Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, calling for a full Senate trial, and another from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that would refer the matter to a Senate Impeachment Trial committee first. 

Representatives for Lee and Cruz did not confirm the unanimous consent agreement discussions before the time of publication. 

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One source noted the GOP was making an effort to use every option possible to require more votes within the impeachment trial process, putting their Democratic colleagues on record as much as possible. 

Following the proposal of each point of order and prior to voting, the deal being discussed for unanimous consent would require four minutes of debate ahead of each vote. This time would be equally divided between the parties. One source explained that some Republican senators see this debate time as an opportunity to have the case for Mayorkas’s impeachment heard on the floor, even if it is not in the context of a full trial. 

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Several Senate Republican sources also indicated that the dismissal route, which Schumer revealed he planned to take, was preferable to a motion to table. Tabling the trial has never happened with an impeachment, as GOP senators have noted, and it also does not provide the ability for any arguments from impeachment managers or defense counsel or debate between senators. 

If agreed to, the Mayorkas impeachment trial is likely to ultimately see dismissal, but Republicans will have several opportunities to put Democrats, particularly vulnerable ones who are up for re-election in pivotal states, on the record on multiple immigration and border related topics. 

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