David Edwards and Jason Rhyne
Published: Wednesday December 12, 2007
Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) says he’s hatched a plan that will secure health care for children, help to restore America’s reputation around the world, and empower the the Democratic party to rediscover the courage of its convictions. He calls it “impeachment hearings.”Appearing in his home state for a meeting of the Palm Beach County Democratic Executive Committee last week, Wexler told the crowd that if Congress were to hold hearings on the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney, the move would advance a wide array of Democratic legislative priorities and even help a more “popular” United States head off foreign policy crises. The remarks were first reported by the Palm Beach Post‘s George Bennett.
“The way we pass stem-cell research, the way we get implemented a children’s health care plan, the way we get higher CAFE [corporate average fuel economy] standards to bring our energy debacle into a better condition for generations to come is to have impeachment hearings,” Wexler said, appearing to nearly run out breath at one point during his speech. “Because that’ll get the president’s eye. That’ll get the vice president’s eye. That for the first time will show that the Democratic majority is here, and that in fact we have the courage of our convictions, and that we’re not bound to be tied by conventional wisdom.”
Wexler said that impeachment hearings weren’t just an option available to Congress, but a requirement.
“This administration has abused its power in office…and it is the obligation — not discretionary — but it is the obligation of this Congress to investigate,” he said. “And that’s what I and some of my colleagues are beginning to call for.”
Later, Wexler suggested the US was sorely in need of popularity boost in the world community.
“If we want to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power, we need to become more popular. If we want to avoid a traumatic split between Sunnis and Shiites that endangers further our national security, we need to become more popular…If we want to engage with the Chinese in a more beneficial way, we need to become more popular.”
“Let me tell you one more thing those impeachment hearings will do,” he concluded. “It’ll make America more popular.”
One of the House’s most outspoken critics of the Bush administration, Wexler voted against a motion from Democrats to prevent debate on a November impeachment motion brought against the vice president by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH). That measure was later sent to the House Judiciary Committee, where Wexler is a sitting member.
“I urge the Judiciary Committee to schedule impeachment hearings immediately and not let this issue languish as it has over the last six months,” Wexler stated at the time. “Only through hearings can we begin to correct the abuses of Dick Cheney and the Bush Administration; and, if it is determined in these hearings that Vice President Cheney has committed High Crimes and Misdemeanors, he should be impeached and removed from office.”
The Palm Beach Post has more here.
This video is from PalmBeachPost.com, broadcast on December 10, 2007.
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