July 22nd, 2007
12:01 PM ET
11 years ago

Senator calls for Bush censure

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold announced Sunday he will introduce two censure resolutions to condemn President Bush and other top administration officials over the Iraq war and "repeated assaults on the rule of law."

In a written announcement, his office called the resolutions "appropriate and necessary steps for Congress to rebuke an administration that is responsible for some of the worst misconduct and the worst abuses of the law in American history."

Feingold told NBC's "Meet the Press" the censure resolutions have not yet been drafted, though he has discussed the idea with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy.

Reid, D-Nev., told CBS' "Face the Nation" that while Feingold is "a very brilliant man," the Senate should be focusing on passing legislation.

"The president already has the mark of the American people that he's the worst president we've ever had, and I don't think we need a censure resolution in the Senate to prove that," he said.

"Russ is going to have to make his case as to why we should do that rather than do our appropriation bills, finish the defense authorization bill, Homeland Security appropriation bill."

Reid added that he expects Republicans to block a vote on the resolutions.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said he supports the resolutions.

He told CNN's "Late Edition" that Bush has not only an "unpopular presidency," but a "failed presidency."

"This administration has gone far beyond the exercise of political power. They have abused the Constitution, in some respects, and I think it's appropriate for us to take this censure resolution up. It is short of impeachment, but it's an important debate."

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called the move a "stunt."

He told CNN's "Late Edition" that the idea, after an all-night Senate session organized by Democrats last week, gives a sense of why Congress' approval rating is so low.

"The American people are looking at this Congress and saying, 'Where's the legislation? What are you going to do to make America better?'" he added.

But Feingold told "Meet the Press" there is "a lot of sentiment" among Americans to impeach Bush. The Wisconsin Democrat said he believes the president has committed impeachable offenses.

"I am proposing a moderate course," he said, to "make sure the historical record shows the way they weakened our country military and against al Qaeda."

Feingold's written statement offered a litany of complaints against Bush.

He said the first resolution would cite: "overstating the case that Saddam Hussein had WMD," failing to plan for civil conflict in Iraq, "over-stretching" the military with prolonged deployments, and "distorting" realities on the ground in Iraq.

The second resolution would include the warrantless wiretapping program the administration had instituted, "extreme policies on torture," and the "refusal to recognize legitimate congressional oversight into the improper firings of U.S. attorneys."

Feingold, who serves on the Senate's intelligence and foreign relations committees, introduced a Senate resolution in 2006 over the wiretapping program, but it got barely any support.

Filed under: President Bush • Senate
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Lets' see if CNN posts it THIS time shall we?

    Jon, Sacramento Ca ..."this administration has attempted to fight terrorism (Afghanistan, removing Hussein, wire-tapping, coercing captive terrorist to cooperate, etc)"

    and it failed miserably!

    God forbid congress should make official – with a permanent historical black mark – what the vast majority of the people in this country already know. This administration is a disgrace.

    Now let's check that list of yours ...

    "Afghanistan": You mean letting the Taliban gather strength in Afghanistan cuz it funneled a vast majority of its resources into Iraq instead? We’re currently spending FIVE TIMES more money on Iraq per month than we are on Afghansitan.

    "Removing Hussein": you mean paying HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS to: hang a guy and destabilize Iraq with the religious zealots Saddam took care of FOR us; empower Iran; and cause a civil war (that Dubya was warned was waiting in the wings) that our troops are now in the middle of? All by removing Saddam who never had what we accused him of having in the first place?

    "Wire-Tapping": You mean starting an ILLEGAL wiretapping that never needed to be done in the first place since they could already start wiretapping AT ANY TIME and there was already an exception made in the law for emergency circumstances? The ILLEGAL wiretapping that we later found out (much to this administration's dismay) wasn't just limited to wiretapping? And also included DOMESTIC CALLS?

    "coercing captive terrorist to cooperate": You mean coercing SUSPECTED terrorists (many of whom are found INNOCENT AT TRIAL) to cooperate via ILLEGAL means (according by Geneva Convention rules) we certainly wouldn't want used vs our OWN captives? In secret prisons this administration first insisted didn't exist?

    Yeah! BRAVO for all that!

    You DON'T get credit for FAILING – especially when it's due to astounding ignorance of what you were clearly warned about in advance.

    And "centrist Americans" know it!

    People say doing nothing is bad. But you know what's worse than doing nothing? Doing the WRONG thing.


    You need to come up with some Bush "positives" that I can't so easily shoot down.

    July 25, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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