Rep. Michael Cloud, R-Texas, left Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas stumbling during a Wednesday hearing by rhetorically asking him what powers Congress had stripped him of to enforce the border.

Mayorkas testified during a hearing of the House Appropriations’ homeland security subcommittee titled “Budget Hearing: Fiscal Year 2025 Request for the Department of Homeland Security.” Cloud questioned Mayorkas about whether he lacked the power and authorization to secure the U.S.-Mexico border due to congressional action since he took office.


“Could you speak to any authorities that Congress has removed from you or the president since taking office?” Cloud asked Mayorkas, in reference to claims by President Joe Biden that he is unsure whether he has the power to take certain steps to prevent illegal immigration. Biden said he was “examining” what powers he had to close the border during a Univision interview that aired Tuesday.

“Has Congress removed any authorities from you or the president since taking office?” Cloud asked as Mayorkas stammered in response.

Rep. Michael Cloud, R-Texas, questions the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security during a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday. Cloud asked what he called “yes or no questions” that the DHS chief couldn’t or wouldn’t answer. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images)

“That is a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question,” Cloud added. “Why are you filibustering? I asked you a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question.”

Biden reversed numerous policies initiated by his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, during his first days in office. Mayorkas has claimed that the border is secure on several occasions, despite U.S. Customs and Border Protection reporting more than 6.6 million encounters with illegal immigrants since the start of fiscal year 2021.

“You have approximately a 20% larger budget than Trump had,” Cloud said. “The president has made the point that he can’t secure the border, he can’t get down to it, because he is waiting on Congress to move, and I just point that out to belay that and to point out the truth, the fact that he has every single authority as President Trump, he has more resources at his disposal than President Trump, yet he’s done everything he can to undermine the security of our border.”

Originally published by the Daily Caller News Foundation