Gallagher ultimately voted no and, minutes later, the vote arrived at a 215-215 tie.
Soon, the Wisconsin Republican was swarmed on the House floor by his colleagues, who engaged in an apparent last-ditch attempt to change his mind. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) was spotted shouting at Gallagher. She was soon joined by Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee and one of the staunchest advocates of impeaching Mayorkas, and Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Tex.), who animatedly tried to persuade Gallagher to flip his vote.
Gallagher stood listening with his arms folded across his chest as he intermittently gesticulated and shook his head. He was unmoved.
Meanwhile, Democrats shouted “Order! Order” in unison to bring the tied vote to a close. After a few minutes of commotion, Rep. Blake D. Moore (R-Utah) approached the lectern and changed his yes vote to one against the measure — a procedural move that allows Republican leadership to potentially bring the measure up for a vote again at a later date.
The original tie vote nearly had not happened, thanks to minor drama involving another lawmaker named Green: Rep. Al Green (D-Tex.) had missed the vote that had taken place before the Mayorkas impeachment vote.
One of Green’s closest friends, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.), told The Washington Post in an interview that he realized Green had been gone for the first vote and might be the difference in the margin. He called the Texan — twice — at 6:13 p.m., according to his phone’s call logs.
“I panicked,” Cleaver said.
But Green showed up in the chamber at the last minute — in a wheelchair — and cast his vote, tying it at 215 before Moore changed his vote.
The measure to impeach Mayorkas failed on a 214-216 vote, a stunning rebuke of a months-long investigation into Mayorkas that legal experts and even some Republicans had raised concerns about.
Later Tuesday night, Gallagher released a statement defending his vote against what would have been the first impeachment of a Cabinet member in nearly 150 years.
“Creating a new, lower standard for impeachment, one without any clear limiting principle, won’t secure the border or hold [President] Biden accountable and will set a dangerous new precedent that will be weaponized against future Republican administrations,” he said.
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