By David Swanson
Forty-five Congress Members now stand in one manner or another for impeachment.
Congressman Steve Cohen from Tennessee, and Congresswoman Shiela Jackson-Lee of Texas have signed onto H. Res. 333. That makes six Judiciary Committee members ready to impeach the Vice President. The other four are Hank Johnson of Georgia, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, and Maxine Waters of California. Four of these six are African American. A fifth, Cohen, is white but represents a majority black district and attempted unsuccessfully to join the Congressional Black Caucus. All six represent urban districts, three from the South, two from the Midwest, and one from Southern California. All six are Democrats. None of the six chairs a subcomittee. Three of them are freshmen.
There are 23 Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, and 17 Republicans.
All told, 19 congress members have signed on as cosponsors of H. Res. 333, a bill proposing articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney. H Res 333 cosponsors include, Dennis Kucinich, Jan Schakowsky, Maxine Waters, Hank Johnson, Keith Ellison, Lynn Woolsey, Barbara Lee, Albert Wynn, William Lacy Clay, Yvette Clarke, Jim McDermott, Jim Moran, Bob Filner, Sam Farr, Robert Brady, Tammy Baldwin, Donald Payne, Steve Cohen, Sheila Jackson-Lee. Nine are African-American, 10 are white. All 19 are from urban or suburban areas, three from the South, five from the Midwest, five from the East, and six from the West. One, Jan Schakowsky, is Chief Deputy Democratic Whip. Let’s hope she starts whipping!
Twenty-eight congress members have signed onto H Res. 589, a bill proposing the impeachment of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The cosponsors are Jay Inslee, Xavier Becerra, Michael Arcuri, Ben Chandler, Dennis Moore, Bruce Braley, Tom Udall, Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Hank Johnson, Steve Cohen, Keith Ellison, David Wu, Yvette Clarke, Darlene Hooley, Betty McCollum, Timothy Bishop, Barney Frank, Carolyn Maloney, Ed Perlmutter, Tammy Baldwin, Shelley Berkley, Raul Grijalva, Ed Pastor, Ellen Tauscher, Rush Holt, Jim McGovern, Gary Ackerman.
Only Johnson, Ellison, Clarke, Baldwin, and Cohen have signed onto both bills (four of them Judiciary Committee Members, four of them freshmen). (19 + 28 – 5 = 42)
Congressmen Jesse Jackson Jr. and Maurice Hinchey have recently said that they support the impeachment of Cheney and Bush, but have not yet signed onto any bills. (42 + 2 = 44)
Other Congress Members have said privately that they favor impeachment but not these bills, even that they would only support impeachment if it included Bush. The lack of cross-over support between the two existing bills is an indication of the importance of petty personal politics within Congress, and the extent to which Congress Members will sign onto a bill based on who the sponsor and cosponsors are and who asks them, and whether anyone asks them, to sign on.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has opposed impeachment since May 2006, but this week said that if she were not the Speaker she would probably be backing impeachment, and that impeachment of Gonzales is clearly merited. (44 + 1 = 45)