‘Today the Senate will vote on Alejandro Mayorkas, President Biden’s nominee to be Secretary of Homeland Security… It’s frankly remarkable that someone with this record is even up for a cabinet appointment. I’ll be voting against his confirmation and urge all our colleagues to do the same.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding nominations:
“Today the Senate will vote on Alejandro Mayorkas, President Biden’s nominee to be Secretary of Homeland Security.
“Up to this point, I’ve voted in favor of the President’s mainstream nominees to key posts. I will have my differences with Secretaries Austin, Yellen, and Blinken on policy, but they were mainstream choices from the President.
“Mr. Mayorkas is something else. He does not deserve Senate confirmation to lead Homeland Security. Frankly his record should foreclose confirmation even to a lower post.
“The problem isn’t experience, not exactly. Mr. Mayorkas is all too familiar with the levers of power that control U.S. immigration law. The problem is when he’s chosen to pull those levers — and for whose benefit.
“As a high-ranking official in the Obama Administration, Mr. Mayorkas did his best to turn U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services into an unethical favor factory for Democratic Party royalty.
“Governors… a DNC chair… Hollywood executives… a Senate Majority Leader from Nevada. They all received special treatment to a degree that stunned and disturbed the Obama Administration’s own Inspector General at the Department. His independent report blasted the quote, ‘appearance of favoritism and special access.’
“We are talking about shoving through green cards as political favors, and intervening to overturn denials. And the IG confirmed this wasn’t just about speed. Mr. Mayorkas’s improper influence changed outcomes.
“This wasn’t the first time this nominee abused an office for political purposes. Before his tenure at DHS, while a U.S. Attorney, the nominee had helped his fellow California Democrats get a well-connected L.A. drug kingpin onto President Clinton’s infamous eleventh-hour pardons list.
“The drug dealer’s father was a major Democratic Party donor. Mysteriously, several notable California Democrats took an extremely keen interest in his case. Both Mr. Mayorkas and yet another one of President Biden’s cabinet nominees, Mr. Becerra, came under scrutiny for their personal roles in the special treatment that was dished out to this donor’s son.
“And when questioned about these actions, Mr. Mayorkas responded with false and conflicting statements, including while under oath.
“Reviews of USCIS under Mr. Mayorkas found intimidation and retaliation against employees when they were too focused on rooting out fraud instead of merely rubber-stamping applications.
“According to some of his own employees, his leadership led to, quote, ‘a culture of fear and disrespect.’
“Does this sound like someone who deserves a promotion?
“Employees reported Mr. Mayorkas viewed the people applying to live here as the agency’s, quote, ‘customers,’ whom it was their job to please and satisfy.
“They said the crucial goal that defined his approach was not enforcing American laws, protecting American jobs, or defending the American homeland, but rather ensuring there were, quote, ‘zero complaints’ from the customers.
“I’ll close with one observation. Last week, I heard the Democratic Leader compare the confirmation timelines for Mr. Mayorkas versus General John Kelly.
“An ethically-compromised partisan lawyer versus a retired four-star General whom the Senate confirmed 88 to 11. The contrast could not be sharper. For one thing, I’d say Secretary Kelly understood that our customers, first and foremost, are always the American people.
“It’s frankly remarkable that someone with this record is even up for a cabinet appointment. I’ll be voting against his confirmation and urge all our colleagues to do the same.”