Nets Fret ‘Heated Arguments,’ ‘Rare Step’ to Impeach Mayorkas Has Border Deal ‘In Jeopardy’

January 30th, 2024 3:26 PM

After having been indifferent toward the House Republican push to impeach Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC turned up the kvetching on Monday night. That continued Tuesday on their flagship morning news shows with gripes about the “splitscreen” of a “historic” impeachment while the Senate’s “work[ing] with” him on the border and how, in turn, the former puts the latter “in jeopardy.”

ABC senior congressional correspondent Rachel Scott predictably broke toward her friends on the left, fretting about “quite the splitscreen playing out here on Capitol Hill” with “Republicans in the Senate work[ing] with Secretary Mayorkas” as “Republicans in the House are quickly moving to impeach him over it.”



Scott made sure to tout Mayorkas’s letter responding to the impeachment threat: “Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas is firing back, writing in a new letter that the charges against him are ‘baseless’, adding, ‘I assure you that your false accusations do not rattle me and do not divert me.’”

“Only one cabinet secretary has been impeached in U.S. history, but it wasn’t over a policy dispute, making these charges unprecedented. Democrats outraged,” she added.

Turning to the border talks, she closed her report with more whining: “Many Republicans in the House falling behind Trump even though they haven't seen the text of that border legislation just yet.”

Skipping over to NBC’s Today, co-host Hoda Kotb had this opening tease:

Border battle. Tensions rising in Washington. A potential bipartisan deal to enforce tougher security now in jeopardy while House Republicans move forward with an historic move to impeach the secretary of Homeland Security. A live report from Capitol Hill straight ahead.

Co-host Savannah Guthrie later warned in tossing to NBC Capitol Hill correspondent Ryan Nobles that “the battle over the southern border is escalating” with the Mayorkas impeachment “threatening to tank a potential deal on border security struck by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.”

Nobles was similarly crestfallen at the GOP getting in Mayorkas’s way of supposedly fixing the (Biden) border crisis (click “expand”):

NOBLES: Republicans will take the first step towards something Congress hasn't done in more than 150 years, impeaching a sitting cabinet secretary. It all comes just as bipartisan negotiators are set to release the legislation aimed at calming the border crisis. It is a building problem more than 1,700 miles away from the U.S. Capitol. Migrants entering the United States at a record clip, leading to overworked border guards, a system at a breaking point, and human lives in the balance. In Eagle Pass, Texas, a young migrant girl attempting to cross into the United States through the Rio Grande river, caught in the current and forced to be rescued. Back on Capitol Hill, Republicans are putting the blame squarely on the Biden administration.

HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP TOM EMMER (R-MN): Joe Biden has turned every community into a border community with his failed policies.

NOBLES: So much so that, today, they will move articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, accusing him of willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law and a breach of the public trust. Democrats argue this move is nothing more than a political stunt.


NOBLES: It comes as a bipartisan group of senators are working to hash out a deal to give President Biden more authority to regulate border crossings. This after a record number of migrants came to the country in December: more than 370,000 overall with nearly a quarter million illegal crossings at the southern border alone.

Nobles later explained that even though Republicans have long said the border crisis has to be addressed, “their de facto party leader, Donald Trump, is undermining the negotiations before the bill is even released” and thus led “to another partisan immigration showdown in Washington, while the crisis at the border continues to escalate.”

Guthrie and Nobles then had a second exchange with Guthrie huffing the impeachment and GOP opposition to the deal between the White House and a small band of Senators was “politics”. Nobles obviously agreed (click “expand”):

There’s no doubt that, even if it passes the Senate, it’s an uncertain future to say the least in the House. And that's because Speaker Mike Johnson has argued that aspects of the bill that have been released really don't go far enough in his view to tackle the problem. He's even called the deal dead on arrival last week. 

But, Savannah, you're so right. There’s a huge aspect involving the former President, Donald Trump. House Republicans seem to respond to President Trump’s pressure in a very big way. So, that face — makes it face an increasingly difficult path especially because Trump said he will fight it all the way primarily because he sees it as a winning issue during the election at a time when recent polls show that immigration is among the top issue for voters, particularly his base Republican supporters[.]

Finally over at CBS Mornings, co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King said Tuesday would feature “heated arguments on Capitol Hill” over Mayorkas’s impeachment as Democrats “say Republicans — they’re just playing politics.”

Congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane acknowledged the impeachment was “a very rare step” as it was last done “after the Civil War,” so “[c]ritics say it sets a dangerous precedent and it achieves little.”

Once he outlined where both parties stand, he too expressed concern for Biden not being able to get his border legislation: “Mayorkas has been a key negotiator here on Capitol Hill as the Senate tries to pass new border security law and these impeachment proceedings certainly complicate what are already fragile negotiations.”

To see the relevant transcripts from January 30, click here (for ABC), here (for CBS), and here (for NBC).