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2 House members from Florida missed Mayorkas' impeachment vote over massive Palm Beach flight delays

Flight delays prevented Reps. Brian Mast and Lois Frankel from getting back to D.C. in time for DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas' impeachment vote.

Two U.S. House members from Florida missed the vote Tuesday that secured Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas' impeachment due to massive flight delays. 

Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., said he would vote to impeach Mayorkas, while Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., fully expected to vote against impeaching the Biden Cabinet official, yet both members of Congress failed to get back to Washington, D.C., in time due to massive delays at Palm Beach International Airport. 

Mast shared a video to X from the airport "on about hour nine of waiting for a flight with a broken circuit board." 

"Hoping to get off the ground soon, but they did just call votes in the House of Representatives as they normally do at this time, and it looks like I’m going to miss the vote to impeach Mayorkas," he said. "I was there for the first one – absolutely voted to do that – but it looks like I’m going to miss this one." 

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"There’s a couple other Palm Beach reps here as well. Lois Frankel is here in the airport sitting back there behind me," Mast said, showing the seating area next to the flight gate. "A few other representatives from this area that are going to miss it as well. But that is how I would be definitely doing that had I been there – there went Lois walking behind me."   

In the post itself, Mast wrote, "Not only is Secretary Mayorkas horrible at his job, he is willfully refusing to do it. Thankfully, despite mechanical failures on my flight, we still had enough votes to impeach him tonight. He has abandoned the trust of the American people, and he deserves to be impeached."

Frankel also confirmed the flight delay in a statement of her own. 

"Unfortunately, my flight from Palm Beach to Washington was severely delayed today. I waited at the airport for eight hours, which caused me, along with a Republican colleague on the same flight, to miss the vote. Had I been present, I would have voted no, as I did last week," Frankel said. "House Republicans’ vote to impeach Secretary Mayorkas despite having no evidence of wrongdoing was a shameful political stunt that does nothing to fix our broken immigration system." 

The House of Representatives voted Tuesday to impeach Mayorkas over his handling of the border crisis – by just one vote. 

The 214-213 vote historically made Mayorkas the first ever sitting U.S. Cabinet official to be impeached. It was nearly 150 years ago that President Ulysses S. Grant’s secretary of war, William Belknap, resigned before the House approved articles of impeachment against him over a kickback scheme in government contracts. The Senate acquitted Belknap that same year, 1876. 

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The charges against Mayorkas next go to the Senate for a trial, but neither Democratic nor even some Republican senators have shown interest in the matter, and it may be indefinitely shelved to a committee, according to The Associated Press. The Senate is expected to receive the articles of impeachment from the House after returning to session Feb. 26. 

It was House Republicans' second attempt to impeach Mayorkas after a vote failed last week. 

Three House Republicans who broke ranks last week over the Mayorkas impeachment – Ken Buck of Colorado, Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin and Tom McClintock of California – all did so again Tuesday. With a 219-212 majority, House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., had few votes to spare. His margin got even smaller later Tuesday night when New York Democrat Thomas Suozzi won a special election to the seat once held by Republican George Santos before his expulsion from Congress.

In a dramatic development the first time around, Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, left the hospital bed where he was recovering from surgery to cast his "no" vote against Mayorkas' impeachment. 

Joining the three Republican defectors, Rep. Blake Moore, R-Utah, switched his vote to "no" at the last minute – a procedural move to be able to bring the resolution back to the floor. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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