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Democrats Introduce Censure Resolutions Aimed at Bush, Cheney and Gonzales
Congressional Quarterly
By CQ Staff
By Keith Perine
August 6, 2007

Democrats have introduced resolutions in the House and Senate that would censure President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales.

Russ Feingold, D-Wis., introduced the censure resolutions in the Senate on Aug. 4; New York Democrat Maurice D. Hinchey introduced them in the House a day later.

One resolution (S Res 302, H Res. 625), would censure Bush and Cheney for "misleading the American people" about the need to invade and occupy Iraq, as well as for poor planning and conduct of the war.

The other measure (S Res 303, H Res. 626) would censure Bush and Gonzales for "undermining the rule of law and the separation of powers" by, among other things, authorizing the National Security Agency to conduct warrantless surveillance of American citizens and making "misleading" statements about the application of the a sweeping 2001 anti-terrorism law (PL 107-56).

"Congress cannot stay silent when the American people are demanding that this administration be held accountable for its blatant misconduct regarding Iraq and its attack on the rule of law," Feingold said.

Neither the House nor the Senate is expected to take up the resolutions. Despite the clamor from the Democratic political base for the more drastic step of impeaching Bush, Cheney and Gonzales, Democratic congressional leaders have avoided making any moves that voters might see as a political vendetta.

Feingold introduced a resolution last year in a Republican-controlled Senate that would have censured Bush over the NSA surveillance program. Senate Republicans tried to schedule a floor vote on that resolution, but Democrats blocked the move.

The only president ever to be censured was Andrew Jackson in 1834. The Senate voted 26-20 to censure Jackson in his second term after he refused to turn over a document related to his decision to remove federal deposits from the Bank of the United States. Three years later, with its balance of power reversed, the Senate voted to expunge the censure text from the record.

This story originally appeared in CQ Today

Original Text