US House panel to hold Mayorkas impeachment hearing on Jan. 10


By Ted Hesson and Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON, Jan 3 (Reuters) - A Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives committee next week will advance an effort to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over allegations he has been derelict in his duty of managing the U.S.-Mexico border, a committee spokesperson told Reuters on Wednesday.

The committee, which oversees homeland security issues, will hold a hearing on Jan. 10 related to the impeachment allegations, the spokesperson said. The effort was approved by Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson, the spokesperson said.

Republicans have slammed Democratic President Joe Biden over border control as record numbers of migrants have been caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. The criticism has focused on Mayorkas, Biden's top border official.

Despite the contentious impeachment effort in the House, a bipartisan group of Senate lawmakers are working to hash out a deal that would pair border security with military funding for Ukraine and other foreign aid. Whether the group can reach a compromise that would pass both the Senate and House remains unclear.

Johnson is visiting the border on Wednesday and will hold a press conference with other Republicans in Eagle Pass, Texas.

Mayorkas told MSNBC in an interview that he would fully cooperate with the investigation and the hearings while continuing to manage the border.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesperson Mia Ehrenberg slammed the impeachment hearing, saying it was "wasting valuable time and taxpayer dollars pursuing a baseless political exercise."

The number of migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally spiked in December, straining resources of U.S. border authorities and receiving communities. The arrivals have receded in the past week, paving the way for the U.S. to reopen legal border crossings on Thursday.

U.S. and Mexican officials have agreed to strengthen efforts to curb the record migration, with Biden's cabinet scheduled to meet with Mexican leaders in Washington later in January.

(Reporting by Ted Hesson and Susan Heavey in Washington; Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Mark Porter and Jonathan Oatis)

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