(APN) ATLANTA – H Res 333, the bill introducing Articles of Impeachment against Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney, now has two co-sponsors, for a total of 3 current total supporters, including sponsor US Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Atlanta Progressive News has learned.
The two cosponsors are US Reps. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO) and Janice Schakowsky (D-IL). APN currently has press requests in to both Offices since this morning but has not heard back yet; check back here for updates on their comments.
US Reps. Clay and Schakowsky were early cosponsors of US Rep. Conyers’s (D-MI) former bill, H Res. 635, in the last, or 109th, Congressional Session. Conyers’s bill had been introduced December 18, 2005. The first round of cosponsors appeared on December 22, 2005. Clay and Schakowsky had been part of the second round of cosponsors appearing on January 31, 2006.
The cosponsorships are significant for a number of reasons. First, it shows there is more than one Member of Congress willing to entertain real accountability for the Bush Administration, despite the insistence of US Rep. Pelosi that impeachment is off the table.
Also, this bill is calling for actual Articles of Impeachment for Cheney, unlike the last bill which not only was related to Mr. Bush, but created an investigative committee to look into possible impeachment rather than providing for actual possible impeachment.
Therefore, cosponsorships on H Res 333 have even more weight than those which were listed on H Res 635 last Session.
Also, since the time of H Res 635, Democrats have taken control of both the US House and Senate. Thus, impeachment is even more a real possibility an account of having the potential Democratic support for the bill, even though most Democrats currently aren’t rushing to impeach Bush.
Because Democrats are now the Majority in Congress, we also now know that Bush refuses to be accountable to Congress, particularly on the US Invasion of Iraq. Bush has now vetoed historic legislation to attach funding for the Occupation with a deadline for withdrawal. Thus, it is now even more clear that traditional oversight mechanisms will not be effective.
Just over the weekend there had been a flurry of events supporting impeachment, including several here in Atlanta, organized by World Can’t Wait and other groups. Organizing and public outcry for impeachment is ever-increasing, and Atlanta activists say that the crowd response to impeachment events are overwhelmingly positive.
The House Judiciary Committee told APN 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," spokeswoman Melanie Roussell said.
"Once its referred it has to be on the Committee’s agenda for the Committee to take it up," Roussell said.
"In order to move a bill you have to have hearings scheduled on it," Roussell said.
When asked by APN if Conyers taking impeachment "off the table" meant based on present information or whether it was complete abdication of a constitutional mechanism no matter what information comes forward, "All we can speak to is the present time," Roussell said, adding it would be unwise to speculate about the future.
"I don’t think it’s prejudging," she said.
Impeachment activist David Swanson said he was very encouraged by the two cosponsorships. "It’s wonderful. There are now three heroes in the US Congress. They deserve all the thanks and credit in the world. They have merely done their duty," Swanson told Atlanta Progressive News.