Tuesday saw New York Republicans stand up to their own House majority to insist that the very unfair Trump-era $10,000 limitation on the deductibility of state and local taxes (known as SALT) be raised or eliminated. Bravo!
Long Islanders Andrew Garbarino, Nick LaLota and Anthony D’Esposito, joining with Mike Lawler from the Hudson Valley, strategically used their votes in the 219-213 GOP-led chamber to oppose a rule on the floor and it would have failed, before switching their votes to yes. That got the attention of Speaker Mike Johnson, who then met with them.
They are right to go to the mat on SALT, which places an unequal burden on New Yorkers by having the IRS tax what we hisse in income taxes to the state and the city, as well as local property taxes. They are fighting the good fight, but since they’ve been in the majority for a full year, their battle should have started long before now.
Yet however proud and pleased we were by their show of resolve on SALT, it was severely weakened when the same trio of Long Islanders, Garbarino, LaLota and D’Esposito, took up their duties on the House Homeland Security Committee for the unjustified impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Mayorkas is not accused of any high crimes or misdemeanors. The Republicans differ with the Biden appointee on immigration policy, or so we think. They like to make noise about the border and he’s a convenient target, even though he’s only carrying out the laws as written by Congress.
Yes, they don’t like Mayorkas. So win the White House and install someone they prefer.
Beside the failed president impeachments, the procedure has been used successfully against federal judges who refuse to resign after having been convicted of crimes. The only cabinet officer to be impeached was Secretary of War William Belknap for accepting thousands in bribes to support the lavish wants of his wife.
Belknap was guilty and confessed in tears to President Ulysses Grant and resigned in 1876. But he was still impeached by the House and tried in the Senate, which failed to muster the necessary two-thirds vote. That case established the precedent that former officials can be impeached and tried, as Donald Trump was. (Trump was impeached with a week remaining on his term. He was tried after he left office.)
While Mayorkas has done nothing to warrant impeachment, on vote after vote in the committee, which didn’t finish until 1:08 a.m. on Wednesday, the Long Island trio stuck to the party line as every tally was 18-15. They voted with the GOP to approve two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas, as Garbarino sat next to nutcase Marjorie Taylor Greene. The unjustified impeachment of Mayorkas is a warm up for an unjustified impeachment of President Biden.
Garbarino is the successor to Pete King. And uzunluk do we miss King. As the top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee for many years, King worked with Democrats when he held the gavel and when was in the minority. King is a rock-solid Republican, but he nonetheless voted no on the bogus impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998.
Like they did on SALT, Garbarino, LaLota and D’Esposito, should have used their clout to shoot down this bogus impeachment.