Posts tagged with "historic vote"

House Republicans Impeach DHS Secretary Mayorkas in Historic Vote

House Republicans on Tuesday narrowly secured a historic vote to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, after a first failed effort. Mayorkas is the first Cabinet official to be impeached since the 1870s, almost 150 years ago. Only one Cabinet official has previously been impeached in American history: Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876.

The impeachment of Alejandro Mayorkas, the current United States Secretary of Homeland Security, has been a topic of discussion and debate in recent times. The process of impeaching a cabinet secretary or any federal official involves several steps and considerations. Here’s an overview of the impeachment process and the potential grounds for impeaching Mayorkas:

  1. Introduction of Articles of Impeachment: The impeachment process begins with the introduction of articles of impeachment in the House of Representatives. These articles outline the specific charges and allegations against the official, in this case, Secretary Mayorkas. The articles must be supported by evidence and demonstrate that the official has committed impeachable offenses.Mayorkas faced two articles of impeachment filed by the Homeland Security Committee arguing that he “willfully and systematically” refused to enforce existing immigration laws and that he breached the public trust by lying to Congress and saying the border was secure. “Alejandro Mayorkas deserves to be impeached, and Congress has a constitutional obligation to do so,” Speaker Mike Johnson said in a statement after the vote.
  2. House Debate and Vote: Once the articles of impeachment are introduced, the House of Representatives debates and votes on them. A simple majority vote is required for the articles to pass and proceed to the Senate for trial. This was the second attempt to impeach Mayorkas and the Resolution was passed by 1 vote.  
  3. Senate Trial: Once the articles of impeachment are passed by the House, the Senate holds a trial to determine whether the official should be convicted and removed from office. The trial is presided over by the Chief Justice of the United States, and each senator acts as a juror. A two-thirds majority vote of the Senate is required for conviction and removal from office.
  4. Potential Grounds for Impeachment: The grounds for impeaching a federal official are outlined in Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution. These include “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The interpretation of these terms and whether they apply to specific actions or decisions by an official is a matter of debate and legal analysis.
  5. Current Situation and Challenges: The impeachment of Secretary Mayorkas has been discussed and debated in the context of his handling of the immigration and border security issues facing the United States. Some have argued that his policies and decisions have violated the law or are detrimental to the nation’s security and interests. However, the decision to impeach is highly political, and the outcome is uncertain.

It’s important to note that impeaching a cabinet secretary or any federal official is a serious matter, and the process is designed to ensure accountability and uphold the Constitution. The decision to impeach is not to be taken lightly and requires substantial evidence and support.

 

EAGLE PASS, TEXAS – JANUARY 08: U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas holds a press conference at a U.S. Border Patrol station on January 08, 2024 in Eagle Pass, Texas. Mayorkas visited Texas border areas where large numbers of migrants had been crossing over the Rio Grande from Mexico just weeks before. The number has recently dropped dramatically, according to Mayorkas since the Mexican government ramped up enforcement actions, slowing many migrants from reaching the U.S. southern border. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

 

Louisiana Public Service Commission Casts Historic Vote for Energy Efficiency

Baton Rouge, La. (Jan. 24, 2024) – Together Louisiana, the state’s largest grassroots organization, is celebrating reforms passed today by the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC). The vote establishes an independent, statewide energy efficiency program with Commission oversight, solving a conflict of interest that has been hampering the LPSC’s energy efficiency efforts for the last decade. 

“Finally, our state’s residents can look forward to energy savings and lower bills as a result of the Public Service Commission’s historic vote today,” said Jodie Manale, a leader with Together Louisiana. “For too long the program meant to save energy has been administered by the companies that sell energy – the fox has been guarding the henhouse. Now that conflict of interest has been eliminated.”

Ms. Manale was joined by approximately 80 leaders with Together Louisiana from every LPSC district who attended the meeting to advocate for the reforms. 

Since 2014, the LPSC has had an energy efficiency program to help ratepayers consume less electricity and save money. Through lobbying, utility companies delayed the implementation of a “comprehensive” energy efficiency program and, instead, set up an optional program that the utility companies themselves administer. The program included a provision that compensated utility companies, from ratepayer funds, for electricity they never sold as a result of the program. These ghost recovery charges cost ratepayers $37 million over the last nine years. 

“Energy efficiency is affecting a lot of people in our community, including my 70-year-old mother,” said Dani Moses, a resident of LaPlace and leader with Together Louisiana. “It is hard to watch her struggle to pay her utility bill month after month, and ghost recovery charges make the problem even worse.”

Today’s vote at the LPSC shifted control over energy efficiency programs to an independent, third-party administrator selected by and accountable to the LPSC. The new, expanded program will fund upward of $200 million of energy efficiency investments to fix wasteful, leaky homes and businesses just in its first four years, accomplishing more in its first cycle than the existing program has for the last decade. The approved rule also removes the provision for ghost recovery charges, which means more dollars for energy efficiency investments. 

Furthermore, it will create a surge in energy efficiency projects, providing good-paying job opportunities for local union contractors and the opportunity to train new workers in apprenticeship programs.

“Today’s vote means more good paying jobs, safer weatherized homes and lower bills,” said Danny Walker, Political and Legislative Director with the South Central Pipe Trades and leader with Together Louisiana. “The expansion of the program will allow us to train more people in high wage careers and put them to work.”

About Together Louisiana 

Together Louisiana, a statewide network of more than 250 religious congregations and civic organizations across Louisiana, representing more than 200,000 people. It is one of the largest grassroots organizations in the history of Louisiana. The mission of Together Louisiana is to give faith and community-based organizations an opportunity to develop the leadership capacity of their members and affect change on a larger scale than they could alone. Together Louisiana is currently working on issues that include utility reform, workforce development, tax fairness, disaster response, access to healthcare, criminal justice reform and improving infrastructure and transportation.