Democrats introduce Bush, Cheney, Gonzales censure resolutions in House and Senate
Democrats in the House and Senate have introduced resolutions calling for the censure of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Sen. Russ Feingold sponsored two resolutions in his chamber calling for the legislative action against the administration officials because of they misled the country in pursuing war with Iraq and have undermined the rule of law, he said.
"These censure resolutions will let future generations know that Congress stood up to the destructive policies of this administration that have weakened our national security, cost more than 3,600 American lives, and undermined the principles on which our country was founded," Feingold said in a prepared statement.
Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) introduced companion legislation in the House.
“From misleading this country into invading Iraq to establishing a warrantless domestic spy program, this White House has continuously misled and deceived the American people while disregarding the rule of law that guides our democracy,” Hinchey said in a prepared statement. “The Bush administration has placed an extraordinary burden on this and future generations to recover from the damage done to our Constitution and national security."
The nonbinding resolutions, which simply express the formal displeasure of the House and Senate, were viewed as not good enough by some Bush administration critics.
Brad Friedman, writing on his blog, said Congress should instead work to impeach Bush and Cheney. He noted that the charges outlined in the censure resolution "read like a swell description of Impeachable High Crimes and Misdemeanors" and said it was the "constitutional duty" of members of Congress to work to oust the pair from the White House.
"Then again, courage of conviction is not something Democrats are too often accused of," Friedman wrote.
One set of resolutions, aimed at Bush and Cheney, condemn the pair for misleading Americans about threats posed by Saddam Hussein's regime and the dictator's links to al Qaeda and 9/11. The resolution also claims the president and vice president inadequately prepared for the invasion and its aftermath, stretching military forces thin.
Another set of resolutions says Bush and Gonzales should be censured because of their authorization of a warrantless wiretapping program, improper treatment of foreign detainees and their obstruction of investigations into the firing of US Attorneys.
The censure resolutions have 19 co-sponsors in the House. Both are co-sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) in that chamber, and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has signed on to the resolution regarding Iraq.