APN Chat with US Rep. Kucinich on Impeaching Cheney
(APN) ATLANTA — “More and more Members of Congress are becoming aware of the concerns of the American people to make sure the Constitution is protected,” US Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) told Atlanta Progressive News in a phone interview.
Yesterday, US Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chair of the Out of Iraq Caucus, became the eighth total cosponsor of Kucinich’s bill, H Res 333, to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney for deceiving the American people over the need to invade Iraq.
US Rep. Waters is the first Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee to cosponsor the measure. US Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-NY), William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), and Albert Wynn (D-MD), are the other cosponsors so far.
US Rep. Waters joined Kucinich today in a press conference in Washington, DC, regarding what they are calling “renewed efforts” to impeach Cheney.
“With the addition of Waters, head of the Out of Iraq Caucus, and of Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey, who are Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, we now have leaders of the two largest caucuses. It shows how seriously this effort to impeach is being taken,” Kucinich told APN.
“It’s very significant to have her [Waters’s] support… because of her prominence as a long-time Member of Congress. She has tremendous experience in government,” Kucinich said.
“We’re still at war. We’re there because he [Cheney] promoted those lies to the American people. I felt that I should step forward,” Kucinich said, of his decision to sponsor H Res 333.
“As they [other Members] hear from their constituents, they will know how seriously this is being taken,” Kucinich said.
Recently, Atlanta Progressive News asked US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Office whether impeachment being “off the table” meant no matter what happens this Session, or based on present information.
As we reported, Pelosi’s spokesperson, Drew Hammill, deflected the question and said “I’m not going to play word games.”
When told of the exchange with Pelosi’s Office, “It’s their words, in all due respect,” Kucinich observed.
As more and more Members sign on, “It’s their prerogative to represent their constituents,” Hammill told Atlanta Progressive News, adding that the cosponsors do not face retribution from Pelosi.
“I believe… we will see more and more Members of Congress signing on in this effort to save our Constitution and protect the very values that bind us as a nation,” Kucinich said in his press conference this morning, according to remarks obtained by APN.
JUDICIARY COMMITTEE OUTLOOK
The House Judiciary Committee told APN recently there are no plans to have hearings on impeachment of Cheney or anyone else at this time.
“It’s not at this time on the Committee’s immediate agenda,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Conyers’s spokesperson said. “Once it’s referred it has to be on the Committee’s agenda for the Committee to take it up.”
“In order to move a bill you have to have hearings scheduled on it,” Conyers’s spokesperson said.
How does a bill get on the agenda? “The Chairman would have to decide to hold a hearing. Typically it would go through subcommittee first, but it depends on the situation,” Hammill said.
A person familiar with House Committee procedures explained more details, on condition of anonymity.
Any Judiciary Committee Member, such as US Rep. Waters, can ask that a bill be heard in Subcommittee, the person said.
However, the Subcommittee Chair would have to agree to have it heard. He or she would then schedule a hearing or mark-up, after which the bill would be sent to Full Committee, the person said.
If the bill is not consistent with the overall agenda of the Full Committee, it is unlikely a bill would get on a Subcommittee agenda due to the collegial relations typically seen among Committee Members, the person said.
COSPONSORS SPEAK OUT
“While ending the occupation of Iraq remains my top priority, and I am clear about the political reality as it relates to this bill, I nonetheless believe that given Vice President Cheney’s role in misleading our nation into an unnecessary, aggressive invasion and occupation that it is appropriate for me to support this measure,” US Rep. Lee said in a statement issued to APN.
“This Administration has continued to erode the trust of the American people and enough is simply enough,” stated US Rep. Clarke in a press release issued first to Atlanta Progressive News.
“H.Res. 333 was introduced to the House of Representatives by Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio on April 24, 2007, and asserts that the vice president manipulated intelligence to make the case for going to war with Iraq, falsified a connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda, and has threatened aggression against Iran,” US Rep. Clarke says.
“When the American people voted on November 7th, they asked for a change in direction by electing the Democratic party in the House and Senate. I have heard the loud cries of my constituents, and they want accountability. My support of HRes 333 reflects the voices of the residents of central Brooklyn.”
Congresswoman Clarke is her own woman and “does not follow the crowd,” her spokesperson said, adding that constituents had regularly lobbied her to co-sponsor this bill.
“Vice President Dick Cheney is the architect of the Administration’s deception about the war. Cheney persistently and deliberately deceived the Congress and the American people about the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the alleged link between Saddam Hussein and the attack on September 11th. There should be a serious dialogue about the conduct of this Administration. Cheney should be held accountable for purposely misleading the American people. Despite the obvious lack of success on the ground, Vice President Cheney continued a barrage of propaganda claiming that we were winning the war and successfully rebuilding Iraq which is patently false. His statements and representations about the situation in Iraq amount to malfeasance for which he should be taken to task,” said Wynn in a press release prepared for Atlanta Progressive News.
“At the urging of my constituents in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District, and from Americans across the country, I cosponsored Congressman Kucinich’s resolution regarding the impeachment of the Vice President because I believe that Mr. Cheney deliberately manipulated the intelligence process to deceive the Congress of the United States and the American people. That deception has resulted in a tragic, unnecessary war that has already cost the lives of over 3,300 brave Americans and has cost the taxpayers over $400 billion. The arrogant abuse of power and the complete disregard for the truth needs to stop,” US Rep. Clay said in a statement prepared for Atlanta Progressive News.
US Rep. Schakowsky (D-IL) recently told The Daily Northwestern college newspaper that Cheney misled the public by “intentionally manipulating intelligence in order to launch an elective war against Iraq. I believe it is crucial that the U.S. House of Representatives investigate the vice president’s actions to determine if he should be impeached for lying to the American people to justify the war in Iraq.”
GEORGIA CONGRESSMAN MISSING IN ACTION
Missing in action was US Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) who had told WAOK radio in December 2005 he would sign a bill of impeachment of President Bush should it come across his desk [crimes committed by Bush would equally apply to Cheney in this case].
Also MIA is US Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), who supported impeachment in the Minnesota legislature and campaigned for US Congress on the issue. This list could go on.
PREVIOUS IMPEACHMENT BILLS
There have been two previous impeachment related bills during the Bush Presidency, both in the 109th Congress.
US Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) had sponsored a bill to impeach President Bush during the last days of the Session. This bill had no cosponsors.
Also, US Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), now Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, had sponsored a bill, H Res 635, which ended up with 39 cosponsors by the end of the Session.
The 39 total co-sponsors of H Res. 635 were US Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA), Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA), Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), Rep. Jackson, Jr., (D-IL), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN), Rep. John Olver (D-MA), Rep. Major Owens (D-NY), Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ), Rep. Martin Sabo (D-MN), Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA), Rep. Fortney Pete Stark (D-CA), Rep. John Tierney (D-MA), Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Dianne Watson (D-CA), Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), and Rep. David Wu (D-OR).
It was largely viewed that US Rep. Conyers, the original sponsor of H Res 635, did not re-file his bill out of respect to Pelosi and his desire to be appointed Chair of the Judiciary Committee.
For more information about H Res 333 or impeaching members of the Bush Administration, please see our previous coverage, listed on our homepage at www.atlantaprogressivenews.com
About the author:
Matthew Cardinale is the News Editor of Atlanta Progressive News and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article may be reprinted in full at no cost where Atlanta Progressive News is credited.