Kucinich No Longer Alone in Seeking Cheney Impeachment
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) is no longer "standing alone" when it comes to calling for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney.
On the same day the House failed to de-fund the Office of the Vice President, the chamber crossed another anti-Cheney milestone: Kucinich entered double digits in terms of co-sponsors for his bill to impeach Cheney.
Democratic Reps. Keith Ellison (Minn.), Hank Johnson (Ga.) and Jim McDermott (Wash.) signed on to Kucinich's bill on Thursday, which also came a day after the conclusion of Barton Gellman and Jo Becker's stunning four-part series on Cheney in the Washington Post.
Kucinich introduced his impeachment articles with much fanfare outside the Capitol on April 24, but with little expectation for the measure to go anywhere legislatively speaking. House Democratic leaders have publicly and privately rejected talk about moving forward with the impeachment process.
It took more than two months for Kucinich to round up his 8th, 9th and 10th co-sponsors, a rate that would bring roughly 40 co-sponsors by the end of this year. Instead of impeachment, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) took another approach. After stories emerged about Cheney rebuffing disclosure laws on intelligence matters, citing himself as not a part of the executive branch, Emanuel offered an amendment last week to de-fund Cheney's office, what many considered a symbolic jab at the unpopular Cheney.
Still, 207 Democrats and two Republicans (Reps. Walter Jones of North Carolina and Ron Paul of Texas) voted to strip Cheney of his funding. But two dozen Democrats opposed the Emanuel amendment, providing the margin to beat back Emanuel and giving a slight reprieve to the embattled Cheney.
Of those 24 Democrats, the majority were moderate-to-conservative Democrats, many members of the Blue Dog caucus and a handful of the freshmen Democrats. McDermott, however, is the one member of the House who voted in favor of funding the vice president's office while ALSO signing on as a co-sponsor to impeach Cheney. Upon reflection, there's some logic to it: McDermott believes the vice president clearly is a part of the executive branch, he just no longer believes that Cheney himself should be allowed his spot in that branch of government.
Here's a look at the other co-sponsors, along with the date they signed on with Kucinich:
Lacy Clay (Mo.) - May 1: Son of former Rep. Bill Clay (D-Mo.), this St. Louis lawmaker is a member of the Out of Iraq Caucus.
Janice D. Schakowsky (Ill.) - May 1: Joined Clay in being the first co-sponsors with Kucinich to the articles of impeachment.
Albert R. Wynn (Md.) - May 10: Wynn, who narrowly survived a primary challenger from his left in 2006, is facing a rematch early next year with Donna Edwards, who criticized his vote in 2002 in support of the Iraq war.
Yvette D. Clarke (N.Y.) - June 6: One of three freshmen to co-sponsor Cheney's impeachment.
Barbara Lee (Calif.) - June 7: One of the House's most anti-war members, Lee's most famous vote was the lone 'nay' vote against the 2001 resolution giving President Bush authority to wage war in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Lynn C. Woolsey (Calif.) - June 7: In her 8th term, Woolsey is the second-longest-serving member to back impeachment. (Waters, in her 9th term, is the veteran of the group.)
Maxine Waters (Calif.) - June 12: One of 7 members of the Congressional Black Caucus supporting impeachment, Waters is the co-founder of the Out of Iraq Caucus.
Keith Ellison (Minn.) - June 28: A stir developed when freshman Ellison, the first Muslim in Congress, announced he would be sworn in with a copy of the Koran. He eventually used a copy once owned by Thomas Jefferson.
Hank Johnson (Ga.) - June 28: One of three members of the House Judiciary Committee to officially back impeachment, Johnson is a former judge. (Waters and Ellison are the other members of Judiciary, the committee that has jurisdiction over Kucinich's bill.)
Jim McDermott (Wash.) - June 28: Here's link to McDermott's floor speech and video from his floor speech announcing his support of Cheney's impeachment. McDermott's co-sponsorship is so new that it does not yet register on Thomas, the official web site of the Library of Congress.
July 2, 2007; 5:10 PM ET
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