The House’s number three Republican Tom Emmer insisted he knew Tuesday night’s impeachment and Israel votes would result in dual blunders but leadership was ‘hopeful’ they could change the minds of their colleagues.
‘We know what the votes are when we go to the floor,’ said the Minnesota Republican who is responsible for wrangling votes in the free-wheeling GOP conference to pass his party’s agenda.
On Tuesday night, the impeachment of Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas failed, just one vote short of what it needed to pass. Moments later a bill to offer $17.6 billion to Israel failed to reach the two-thirds majority it needed to pass under suspension of the rules.
‘We were hopeful that a couple of our members would change their mind,’ Emmer noted in a sit-down interview with DailyMail.com.
‘But we knew that we had to have the vote because it’s our constitutional obligation to follow through. Mayorkas has willfully and systemically subverted existing federal law.’
Republicans were seemingly caught by surprise when Democrats wheeled in Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, who had just had surgery, to cast the kill shot on the Mayorkas impeachment.
The final vote was 214-216, with GOP Conference Vice Chair Blake Moore switching his vote to ‘no’ so he could bring the resolution up again.
‘Their floor director was literally telling our floor director that Al Green was not going to be here,’ Emmer admitted.
‘But we don’t trust any of that,’ he went on. ‘That was up to them to make sure their members were there and they were.’
House GOP leadership has insisted they will impeach the Homeland Security secretary when Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., returns from recovering from cancer treatment.
But that will have to happen soon or Republicans risk being down another vote.
The special election to replace ousted Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., is next week – and it’s not clear what party will capture the seat.
Three Republicans joined all Democrats in voting against the impeachment resolution: Reps. Ken Buck, R-Colo., Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and Tom McClintock, R-Calif.
‘I respect a people who want to take a different position on the Constitution. They’re ignoring the fact that we did follow the constitutional process,’ Emmer said of the three defectors.
He tore into Democrats who opposed the standalone Israel bill – which was a way to undercut the Senate’s negotiated immigration and national security aid package that House Republicans opposed long before it was even released.
‘That should have passed. Almost 80 percent of Democrats voted no to support our greatest ally in the world.’
Fourteen Republicans opposed the aid bill, as did 166 Democrats.
Emmer said he believed the Israel aid bill would come up again.
He said he ‘respected’ the 14 conservatives who voted against the aid package because it didn’t include pay-fors, but ‘that is not by the way, what is a putting this country in such a bad financial position? And we’re dealing with Israel’s right to survive.’