Over 14 Percent of House Democrats Have Signed On
Atlanta Progressive News (March 04, 2006)
28 members of US Congress have now signed on to H Res 635, including US Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the original co-sponsor, Atlanta Progressive News has learned. Meanwhile, US cities of Arcata, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco, each in California, have passed resolutions recommending Bush 's impeachment.
US Rep Martin Sabo (D-MN) was the latest member of Congress to sign Conyers 's resolution, which would create a Select Committee to investigate the grounds for impeaching President Bush. Phone calls to Sabo 's press secretary Friday were not immediately returned. Sabo is the first member of US Congress to sign on to the bill since February 16, 2006.
Over 14% of US House Democrats now support the impeachment probe; over 6% of all US House Representatives now support the probe. In December 2005, there were 231 Republicans in the US House, 202 Democrats, 1 Independent, and 1 vacancy, a clerk for the US House of Representatives told Atlanta Progressive News.
The best represented states on H. Res 635 are California (7), New York (6), Georgia (2), Massachusetts (2), Minnesota (2), and Wisconsin (2).
The current 28 total co-sponsors are Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), 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. Martin Sabo (D-MN), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Fortney Pete Stark (D-CA), Rep. John Tierney (D-MA), Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).
Rep. Olver (D-MA) was convinced to sign on by constituents who represented Progressive Democrats of America, The Nation Magazine reported in February.
"It is an issue that should be examined in total detail, " Olver told The Sentinel and Enterprise Newspaper. "The American people deserve an answer to why the Bush administration decided, in the absence of an imminent nuclear threat, the absence of an Iraq-al Qaeda connection, and the absence of weapons of mass destruction threatening the U.S., to invade Iraq."
White House spokesman Ken Lisaius told The Sentinel and Enterprise Newspaper that H. Res 635 was an election year strategy designed to win votes. "The facts are that members of Congress had access to the same intelligence that we had before going into Iraq," he said. "Some have chosen to play politics with that." Members of Congress did not have access to the same "intelligence, " however.
The legislation was initially referred to the US House Rules Committee, which has not taken action. None of the US House Democrats on the committee have signed on as co-sponsors. The Ranking Democrat on the Committee is US Rep. Louise Slaugher (D-NY). Democratic members of the Committee are Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Doris Matsui (D-CA), and James McGovern (D-MA).
If the Democratic Party is able to retake the US House of Representatives, Rep. Conyers would become Chairman Conyers of the House Judiciary Committee, whereas he is currently the Ranking Democrat on the Committee.
If not acted on this session, the bill would have to be reintroduced next session. It is possible that a new bill could include new language regarding Bush 's approval of illegal NSA domestic wiretapping.
For now, however, sources in Washington DC tell Atlanta Progressive News that H. Res 635 is a venue for coalition among members of Congress who are willing to consider impeachment for a variety of reasons.
Even though H. Res 635 does not specifically reference the NSA domestic wiretapping issue, some Members of US Congress have found the wiretapping issue to be a compelling reason to sign on as a co-sponsor, sources say.