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Kucinich's Resolution Survives Tabling Attempt, Is Referred to Committee
Eighty-six Congress Members showed a level of support for impeachment today by voting against tabling Congressman Kucinich's resolution. That indicates the strength of constituent pressure in opposition to the leadership's position. The resolution is back in the same committee but with more momentum now. The media is more aware. The public is more aware. Congressman Kucinich is fired up and ready to introduce new resolutions on both Cheney and Bush. Congress heard from the public in massive numbers - the phones on the hill were jammed. And the public is energized. The intense lobbying that a day like this one inspires may combine with the polling results to begin to open the Democratic leadership's eyes to the electoral danger of not backing impeachment. I think we should urge all the talk shows to give the Republicans the impeachment debate they wanted.
4:41 The motion to send it to the Judiciary Committee passed with only about 5 Dems voting No and 3 Republicans voting Yes. Presumably the 86 Dems who voted No on tabling believed that to be enough to appease their constituents, while 5 Dems actually had integrity enough to put the Constitution ahead of Pelosi and Hoyer. There was no discussion of a time limit for the Judiciary Committee to report back (even though there are precedents for insisting on one with impeachment resolutions). This bill has, of course, ALREADY been in the Judiciary Committee for months, and that committee has done nothing with it.
You'd think if offense (rather than defense) ever entered Pelosi and Hoyer's heads, they'd want to put an hour of Cheney-bashing debate on TV. But they want at all costs to avoid impeachment, and you can't debate the substance of the charges against Cheney without making an obvious case for impeachment.
Roll call. These 5 Dems voted right: Filner, Kaptur, Kucinich, Waters, Towns.
4:19 p.m. There is now a 5-min vote underway on whether to refer to the House Judiciary Committee.
4:18 p.m. The procedural vote passed just barely (218-194). Of the 218, 3 were Republicans.
Roll call. These 5 Dems voted right: Filner, Kaptur, Kucinich, Waters, Watson.
4:14 p.m. The motion to table having failed, Hoyer moved to refer the resolution to the House Judiciary Committee. Kucinich tried to avoid that and get a vote on the resolution, but - unable to do that - asked for a vote on the decision to refer to committee. Hoyer withdrew his motion and then unwithdrew his motion. Boehner asked for 40 minutes of debate. Serrano as chair seemed clueless for a while, and then ordered a procedural vote on whether to vote on sending to committee. If this new 15-min vote passes, then they will vote on whether to send to committee.
4:02 p.m. Over an hour into this 15 min vote, 78 Dems are voting Nay on tabling, joined by 164 Republicans in an apparent stunt to surprise the Dems and bring the issue to the floor -- which the Republicans will regret if the Democrats actually debate it and debate it well (admittedly a remote possibility). They will say over and over and over that this has divided the Democrats. Not outside the Beltway it hasn't. Over 3/4 of Dems want Cheney impeached.
Currently 142 Dems to table, 78 not to [or was it 84??], 13 not voting; 28 Repubs to table, 164 not to, and 9 not voting. Most of the Republicans switched their votes, and for some reason the leadership kept the vote open for over an hour, allowing them to do so. No doubt the Republicans want to get the Dem leaders on tape on the floor defending Cheney against impeachment. But how smart is it of them to allow the topic to gain attention? The evidence, after all, is overwhelming that Cheney has committed impeachable offenses.
Roll call. It turns out 86 Democrats voted the right way:
Abercrombie, Allen, Baca, Baldwin, Braley (IA), Capps, Capuano, Clarke, Clay, Cleaver, Cohen, Conyers, Crowley, Cummings, Davis (IL), DeFazio, Dicks, Doggett, Doyle, Ellison, Farr, Filner, Green, Al; Green, Gene; Grijalva, Gutierrez, Hare, Hinchey, Hirono, Hodes, Holt, Honda, Hooley, Inslee, Jackson (IL), Jackson-Lee (TX), Johnson (GA), Jones (OH), Kanjorski, Kaptur, Kilpatrick, Kucinich, Lee, Lewis (GA), Loebsack, Maloney (NY), McCollum (MN), McDermott, Meeks (NY), Michaud, Miller (NC), Moore (WI), Moran (VA), Napolitano, Ortiz, Pallone, Pascrell, Perlmutter, Price (NC), Rangel, Richardson, Roybal-Allard, Rush, Schakowsky, Scott (VA), Serrano, Shea-Porter, Sherman, Slaughter, Solis, Stark, Stupak, Sutton, Thompson (CA), Tierney, Towns, Velázquez, Waters, Watson, Watt, Weiner, Welch (VT), Wexler, Woolsey, Wu, Wynn
There's a lot of overlap between the above list and the list of cosponsors in 2005 of H Res 635. These are congress members with medium grade willingness to put their constituents ahead of Pelosi and Hoyer.
As Linda Boyd points out, several members of the Judiciary Committee who are not cosponsors of H Res 333 voted against tabling: Conyers, Scott, Watt, Wexler, Gutierrez, Sherman, Weiner, Davis.
And 65 Democrats who are not cosponsors of H Res 333 voted against tabling: Abercrombie, Allen, Baca, Braley, Capps, Capuano, CONYERS, Crowley, Cummings, DeFazio, Dicks, Doggett, Doyle, Al Green, Gene, Grijalva, Gutierrez, Hare, Hinchey, Hirono, Hodes, Holt, Honda, Hooley, Inslee, Jackson (IL), Jones (OH), Kanjorski, Kapptur, Lewis (GA), Loebsack, Maloney, mcCollum, Meeks, Michaud, Miller (NC), Moore (WI), Napolitano, Ortiz, Pallone, Pascrell, Perlmutter, Price, Rangel, RICHARDSON, Roybal-Allard, Rush, Scott, Serrano, Shea-Porter, Sherman, Slaughter, Solis, Stark, Stupak, Sutton, thompson, Tierney, Towns, Valazquez, Watt, Weiner, Welch, Wexler, Wu.
2:54 p.m. Hoyer moves to table.
Kucinich asks for Yays and Nays.
15 minute recorded vote begins.
C-Span quotes sentence from Tribune with lie about impeachment dividing the Dems' base.
C-Span brings on Sabrina Eaton from the Plain Dealer to talk some more trash.