House GOP tests Demo­crat tilt with Cheney im­peach­ment res­o­lu­tion

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Sean Lengell and Eric Pfeif­fer

House Repub­li­cans on Nov. 6 ex­posed a rift be­tween Demo­cratic law­mak­ers and their lib­eral base by nearly forc­ing a de­bate over a pro­posal to im­peach Vice Pres­i­dent Dick Cheney.

Democrats ini­tially seemed to have the votes to block de­bate on the im­peach­ment res­o­lu­tion brought by Rep. Den­nis J. Kucinich of Ohio, a long-shot lib­eral pres­i­den­tial can­di­date.

But sev­eral Repub­li­cans changed their votes at the sug­ges­tion of Rep. John Shadegg, Ari­zona Repub­li­can, and the mo­tion to kill the res­o­lu­tion was de­feated.

“I’d like to know how far left [Democrats] are,” Mr. Shadegg said in an in­ter­view with The Wash­ing­ton Times. “It seems to me they owe it to their base to have an up-or-down vote.”

A sec­ond mo­tion by House Ma­jor­ity Leader Steny H. Hoyer, Mary­land Demo­crat, sent the res­o­lu­tion to the House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee, es­sen­tially killing the bill.

Repub­li­cans said the episode ex­posed a lack of con­trol by House lead­er­ship over their lib­eral mem­bers, many of whom sup­port im­peach­ment pro­ceed­ings against Mr. Cheney.

“I strongly sup­port Vice Pres­i­dent Cheney,” said Mr. Shadegg, adding that he would ex­pect any im­peach­ment vote to fail. “But it’s not the job of the mi­nor­ity party to help the ma­jor­ity do its dirty work.”

Mr. Hoyer ac­cused Repub­li­cans of play­ing po­lit­i­cal games, say­ing their tac­tic to switch votes was “be­neath the dig­nity of this in­sti­tu­tion.”

“This is a con­tin­u­a­tion of Re- pub­li­cans’ gotcha games that achieve noth­ing more than short­term en­ter­tain­ment for them­selves, while show­ing their dis­dain for the im­por­tance of the peo­ple’s busi­ness,” he said.

The Kucinich res­o­lu­tion had more than 20 Demo­cratic co-spon­sors, but it was shunned by party lead­er­ship.

The res­o­lu­tion ac­cused Mr. Cheney of be­ing in “vi­o­la­tion of his con­sti­tu­tional oath to faith­fully ex­e­cute the of­fice of vice pres­i­dent” over his han­dling of the Iraq war.

The doc­u­ment added that the vice pres­i­dent “pur­posely ma­nip­u­lated the intelligence process to de­ceive the cit­i­zens and Congress of the United States by fab­ri­cat­ing a threat of Iraqi weapons of mass de­struc­tion to jus­tify the use of the United States Armed Forces against the na­tion of Iraq in a man­ner dam­ag­ing to our na­tional se­cu­rity in­ter­ests.”

Getty Images

Rep. Den­nis J. Kucinich of Ohio, a Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial hope­ful, had more than 20 co-spon­sors for his res­o­lu­tion to im­peach Vice Pres­i­dent Dick Cheney.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.