With the final minutes for the vote dwindling, the House watched intently on Tuesday night to see whether any more Republicans would defect on the resolution to impeach Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the homeland security secretary.
Three House Republicans had already cast votes against impeaching Mr. Mayorkas, and based on attendance at the previous vote, the G.O.P. could afford no more. The tally held steady, and it seemed the indictment that Republicans had promised their base for over a year — accusing Mr. Mayorkas of refusing to comply with the law and breaching the public trust related to a surge of migrants at the U.S. border with Mexico — could squeak by along party lines.
Then, like a scene out of a political thriller, Representative Al Green, Democrat of Texas, appeared at the last moment to cast a surprise ballot — from a wheelchair, wearing blue hospital clothing and tan socks. He voted no.
Mr. Green’s vote was decisive. It tied up the measure, 215 to 215, and handed a stunning defeat to Speaker Mike Johnson.
“I was determined to cast the vote long before — I had no idea how close it was going to be,” Mr. Green said in an interview on Tuesday night from his hospital bed, where he had returned shortly after voting. “I didn’t come assuming that my vote was going to make a difference. I came because it was personal.”
It was a remarkable save by Mr. Green, who was known around the Capitol for repeatedly defying Democratic leadership to push for the impeachment of Donald J. Trump during his presidency. He had tried three times to impeach Mr. Trump, and failed each time.
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