The State of the Impeachment

By David Swanson

On the same day that Bush delivered his state of the union address, eight state senators in New Mexico introduced a resolution (Senate Joint Resolution 5) that if passed would require their state government to send a petition to the U.S. House of Representatives asking that impeachment proceedings immediately begin against Bush and Cheney.

Over 100 citizens showed up for the introduction, and there were over two hours of citizen speeches at the announcement event. Reporters from every New Mexico newspaper and the Associated Press were there, as well as ABC and NBC cameras. What they saw was a bottom-up movement for impeachment, exactly what inpeachment is supposed to be.

The original sponsor of the resolution, Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino, says he has received over 1,000 favorable messages and two negative ones. That matches exactly the responses I’ve received for wearing an “Impeach Bush and Cheney” t-shirt around the country.

The New Mexico resolution will go to three committees in the Senate: Rules, Judiciary, and Public Affairs. Three of the eight sponsors chair those three committees. Four of the eight sit on the Rules Committee, which is the first stop, and where five votes are needed. Ortiz y Pino expected to serve on Rules but has been moved to another committee. The fifth Democrat and the needed vote will be a Navajo representative yet to be appointed.

The Senate Committee hearings will have to happen over the next four weeks or so to leave time for introduction and passage in the House during New Mexico’s 60-day legislative session. Local organizer Leland Lehrman is confident it can be done.

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