Vote to refer articles of impeachment to House Judiciary Committee set to happen today at around 4pm ET (UPDATE: HOUSE VOTES TO SEND BILL TO COMMITTEE WHERE IT WILL DIE)
Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s introduction of 35 articles of impeachment on Monday has set the stage for a vote scheduled to take place in the House this afternoon:
The House is set to vote this afternoon on whether to refer articles of impeachment against President Bush to the Judiciary Committee, where they are unlikely to see any further action during this Congress.
The impeachment resolution — accusing Bush of manufacturing a case for war in Iraq, among other charges — was introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) on Monday. Kucinich himself read all 35 articles into the Congressional Record on the House floor that night, a process that took nearly five hours. The second reading, which is required under House rules, was performed by House reading clerks on Tuesday night. In both cases, the readings kept the chamber in session past midnight.
The office of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) says this afternoon’s vote to send the resolution to Judiciary is expected to occur around 4 p.m. EDT, though there is a small chance the vote could happen closer to 1 p.m., when the chamber will be voting on an Amtrak bill.
Democratic leaders have made clear that they have no desire to impeach Bush, nor do they want the Judiciary panel to hold hearings on Kucinich’s measure. Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) has so far not commented on his plans, though the resolution has picked up one cosponsor: Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), a Judiciary member.
Conyers himself has fantasized about impeachment, even going so far as to hold a mock impeachment hearing back in 2005. Suffice it to say that if he doesn’t vote “yes” today, it will be for purely partisan purposes in line with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s strategy of not wanting to alienate voters who dislike but don’t hate Bush, and who might be considering voting Democrat this year.
Either put up or shut up, House Democrats.
Make sure to check out CSPAN’s coverage of the House this afternoon to watch as events unfold.
Update – 6:51 PM: I misunderstood what a “yes” vote meant on this bill – in a nutshell, it ain’t goin’ anywhere:
WASHINGTON (CNN) — An attempt by Rep. Dennis Kucinich to impeach President Bush was kicked into legislative no-man’s land by members of his own party Wednesday.
The House voted 251-166 to send the Ohio Democrat’s impeachment resolution to committee, a maneuver that allows the Democratic leadership to freeze the measure indefinitely.
The vote largely followed partisan lines, with 225 Democrats voting to punt the measure to committee.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly said she would not support a resolution calling for Bush’s impeachment, saying such a move was unlikely to succeed and would be divisive.
All 166 votes in favor of opening up a House impeachment debate came from Republicans, apparently eager to paint Democrats as political creatures in a time of serious issues. Kucinich voted with his party, against his own measure.
So much for “standing on principle” …