In an unprecedented maneuver, Republican lawmakers have proposed slashing the salary of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to a mere $1. This move, spearheaded by Reps. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) and Chip Roy (R-TX), aim to draw attention to what many conservatives see as the Biden administration’s glaring failure at the southern border.
The Homeland Security appropriations bill amendment states, “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to pay Secretary Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas a salary that exceeds $1.” It is a blunt message but one that resonates with a growing number of Americans concerned about border security.
"The American people have NO OBLIGATION to keep paying a federal official who refuses to do his job and uphold his oath, and that's why we should zero out Mayorkas' salary.”
— Rep. Chip Roy Press Office (@RepChipRoy) September 6, 2023
“Today, I introduced an amendment with Congressman Chip Roy to invoke the Holman Rule against Secretary Mayorkas for his failure to secure our border and make his salary $1. If the President refuses to fire him for his dereliction of duty, his salary must reflect his failures,” Tenney said.
The Holman Rule allows lawmakers to cut the salaries of federal officials, and its invocation here signals the depth of dissatisfaction with Mayorkas among Republican lawmakers. They believe he has failed to protect American citizens from threats from an increasingly porous border. Roy emphasized, “The American people have no obligation to keep paying a federal official who refuses to do his job and uphold his oath.”
But what does the data say? According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a substantial and consistent rise in southwest land border encounters has occurred since Joe Biden assumed office. The GOP blames this on the Biden administration’s reversal of Trump-era policies, like border wall construction and the Remain-in-Mexico policy, accusing Mayorkas of executing a “radical open-borders agenda.”
In an August letter, Roy even called for a halt to all DHS funding until the border situation is under control. He argued that lawmakers have a “moral obligation” to ensure border security before allocating more funds to the agency.
For its part, the DHS contends that Secretary Mayorkas has been diligent. “While the House Majority has wasted months trying to score points with baseless attacks, Secretary Mayorkas has been doing his job and working to keep Americans safe,” a DHS spokesperson stated.
Yet the symbolic $1 salary proposal represents more than just a partisan jab; it underscores a burgeoning sentiment among conservatives that decisive action is needed. It serves as a clarion call for Democrats and Republicans alike to prioritize a resolution to the border crisis above political point-scoring.
Given the current makeup of Congress, the amendment is not likely to pass. Still, it serves as a stark reminder to Secretary Mayorkas and the Biden administration that the American people are watching, and they demand better.