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(Update at bottom: GOP blocks Dem-led motion to kill impeachment
resolution; measure sent to House Judiciary )
Presidential hopeful Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who brought an
impeachment resolution against Vice President Dick Cheney to the House
floor on Tuesday, says he is also planning a similar resolution to
impeach President Bush.
The news came during a conference call Kucinich held with supporters
Monday evening, although technical problems kept most on the call from
being able to hear the congressman.
But activist David Swanson, who spoke directly with Kucinich during the
call, summarized the contents of his conversation in an email:
"He is going to introduce a privileged resolution on the floor of the
U.S. House Tuesday morning to force a vote on his resolution to impeach
Cheney," confirmed Swamson. "While that bill includes offenses related
to Iraq and Iran, Kucinich plans to focus his remarks on Iran and the
fact that the current Pentagon bill includes funding to retrofit bombers
to carry 15-ton bombs."
Concerning the possible resolution against Bush, Swanson said Kucinich
"wanted to let everyone know that he will not only continue pushing for
the impeachment of Cheney but will also take up the impeachment of Bush
with a new resolution."
It's unclear as to when such a resolution would brought to the floor, or
how dependent its introduction would be on the success of today's move
against Cheney. The former Cleveland mayor will hold a press conference
today at 3:00 p.m.
Swanson added that Kucinich was prepared for a debate on the substance
of the charges against Cheney, but also mentioned the measure could be
tabled --a move that effectively kills a pending matter by ending debate
-- or sent to committee. If the latter option happens, the committee in
question will be the House Judiciary.
The Kucinich campaign's website
states that the technical problems with the conference call were because
"public interest in the issue exceeded technological capacity." The call
will be rescheduled.
Kucinich's "privileged resolution" on the Cheney matter is a maneuver
which will require a vote from all House members -- and allows him to
act in spite of protestations from Democratic leaders, who don't want a
vote to come to the floor, according to /Politico/'s Ryan Grim
According to /The Hill/
Kucinich's idea -- which would put legislators on the record about
Cheney's impeachment -- is making some Democrats uneasy.
"If he pulls it off, it could make for an uncomfortable situation for
Democratic leaders and centrist Democrats," /The Hill/'s Mike Soraghan
of Kucinich's plan. "Liberal activists are pushing for impeachment,
while leaders worry such a move could turn off independent voters. They
have made it clear that impeachment of Cheney or President Bush is off
Democrats might be tempted to opt to send the resolution to committee,
according to Soraghan, who says that such a move "avoids an immediate
floor vote and might be the most appealing option to the Democratic
Despite its apparent unpopularity among Democratic legislators, the
Kucinich proposal is not necessarily out of line with American public
opinion: a July poll
American Research Group found that 54% of those surveyed favored the "US
House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against Vice
President Dick Cheney."
"Congress must hold the Vice President accountable," Kucinich said
in a statement last week. "The American people need to let Members of
Congress know how they feel about this. The Vice President continues to
use his office to advocate for a continued occupation of Iraq and prod
our nation into a belligerent stance against Iran. If the Vice President
is successful, his actions will ensure decades of disastrous consequences."
House Republicans vote against Democratic-led move to table Cheney
impeachment measure; resolution sent to House Judiciary
In an unexpected move, House Republicans on Tuesday voted against a
measure to kill an impeachment resolution introduced against Vice
President Dick Cheney by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH).
A motion to table
<http://www.c-span.org/guide/congress/glossary/motable.htm>, which would
have ended debate on the resolution, had been brought by House Majority
Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) soon after
Kucinich took to the floor to read from his proposed articles of
"Impeachment is not on the agenda," Rep. Hoyer had told Fox News
<http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,308738,00.html> earlier on
Tuesday."We have some major priorities. We need to focus on those."
Although the roll call vote had initially appeared to favor Hoyer's
motion, Republicans -- who had at first voted in with the majority
leader --later began to switch their votes.
That decision is being widely interpreted as an attempt to embarrass the
Democratic leadership, which is not keen on seeing further action on the
impeachment resolution. "I am surprised that Republicans would treat an
issue as important as the potential impeachment of a vice president of
the United States as a petty political game," Hoyer said in a statement.
"Republicans gleefully said they wanted the debate to show the public
how many Democrats would actually support impeaching Cheney, which they
consider a move supported only by a fringe element of anti-war
activists," reports the /Washinton Post/
According to /The Hill/
newspaper, Republican sources credit Congressman John Shadegg (R-AZ)
with the idea of trying to keep the debate afloat. The final vote count
on the measure was 251-162.
Following the failure of his motion, Rep. Hoyer immediately moved to
have the resolution sent to the House Judiciary Committee, which the
House eventually approved in a 218-194 vote along strict party lines.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) told Fox News
<http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,308738,00.html> on Monday that
moving forward with impeachment was not in the best interests of Speaker
of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
"If she were to let this thing out of the box," said Conyers,
"considering the number of legislative issues we have pending ... it
could create a split that could effect our productivity for the rest of
The /Baltimore Sun/'s blog, The Swamp, describes
the resolution as now "buried in committee."
But a spokeswoman for the House Judiciary did not rule out the
committee's consideration of the measure. "We were surprised that the
minority was so ready to move forward with consideration of a matter of
such complexity as impeaching the Vice President," she said. "The
Chairman will discuss today's vote with the Committee members but it
would seem evident that the committee staff should continue to consider,
as a preliminary matter, the many abuses of this Administration,
including the Vice President."
Kucinich said in a press conference late Tuesday afternoon that he
believed the measure may still have a life.
"I've spoken to Mr. Conyers and I'm quite confident that the ball is in
good hands," said Kucinich.
Informant: John Stroebel