Headline from USA Today: “Mike Johnson [Republican Speaker of the House] warns bipartisan [Senate] border deal could be ‘dead on arrival’, promises quick Mayorkas impeachment”
Headline from Yahoo News: “Trump all but confirms he told Johnson to tank border deal”
These headlines tell us that Republicans spend more time dealing with election year politics than they do trying to solve the nation’s problems. Let’s look at each issue in turn.
The Border Bill: Speaker Johnson promises he will not bring it up for a vote in the House—dead on arrival—because candidate Donald Trump doesn’t want any Biden victories. Senate Republicans have been negotiating for months with Democrats and the White House to come up with a bill that will end the illegal border crossings on the southern U.S. border. This issue has been a major one for years under both Republican and Democratic presidents and Congresses. Currently, they almost have a bipartisan agreement supported by President Biden and his Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas.
Impeachment of Secretary Mayorkas: Mayorkas has come under harsh criticism for not stopping the flow of illegal immigrants. Now House Republicans want to impeach him. (As of this writing, they have not voted to impeach.) There are two articles of impeachment: “The articles accuse Mayorkas of  ‘willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law’ and  breaching the public trust.” Neither of these articles are impeachable offenses. Grounds for impeachment have to fit under the criteria of “high crimes and misdemeanors”. Mayorkas has been acting as Biden’s representative in the Senate to solve the border issue. Mayorkas is not refusing to comply with the law.
Republican senators and representatives have been begging the Republican leadership to give them something to take home to their voters as a triumph. So far, most of their time has been spent on selecting House speakers, attempting to impeach Biden by investigating his son Hunter, and now attempting to impeach Secretary Mayorkas.
Former President Trump needs a wedge issue to win the presidency in November: Additionally, “Even if the Republican-led House votes to impeach Mayorkas, he is unlikely to be convicted in a trial in the Democratic-led Senate.” (washingtonpost.com) So, what’s going on? The answer is that since abortion bans are deeply unpopular among about 71% of the U.S. voting population, former President Trump needs a hot-button issue that will rile up his base enough to get them to vote for him in November.
There is irony here because only two states have held a caucus or a primary. There are forty-eight states yet to weigh in. Trump is not even guaranteed to be the Republican candidate. He may be banned from running. The Supreme Court may rule him ineligible to run due to his attempt to overthrow the government in the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection. He may also be imprisoned for committing four felonies with ninety-one counts in three states and the District of Columbia.
Senate Republicans who have been working on an immigration bill say that neither Johnson nor Trump has actually read the bill. It has not yet been published. The Senate is designed to see the issues of the nation in the long-term. Senators are elected for six-year terms. In contrast, members of the House of Representatives think in the short-term because they serve for only two years at a time.
Republicans are tying the aid to Ukraine to the border issue. This means that Ukrainians are being hindered in their war against Russia. For decades during the Cold War, Republicans were hardline Anti-Russian. Now, by their refusal to aid Ukraine by saying no to the border deal , they are actually helping President Putin.
Do any of these Republican House actions make any sense? It seems getting social media clicks mean more to many Republican representatives than actually being loyal to their party. It also seems that party trumps providing for “the general welfare” of the nation.
All of these House Republican actions are puzzling and self-defeating. Isn’t it about time for Republicans in Congress to realize that being loyal to Trump means defeat at the polls come November? Isn’t it time to act with courage rather than cower in fear? It’s possible they may lose their seats, but being courageous seems to be a better legacy than appeasing a would-be dictator.