Hon. Robert Wexler / US House of Representatives – 2008-02-14 22:52:21
Bush’s State of Disunion: House Acts of Contempt of Congress
Congressman Robert Wexler
(February 14, 2008) — Tonight, President Bush will issue what will thankfully be his final State of the Union address; but, little of what he says can be trusted.
For the past seven years, we have watched as America has moved steadily backwards. We have become a nation that is less free and less fair. We have become a nation that no longer values the right to privacy and has tragically retreated from our cherished foundations.
Nothing George W. Bush says tonight will change the sad reality of the America he has given us:
• Our economy teeters on the edge of recession while property taxes spike and homeowners are losing their homes at record levels;
• Our educational system is broken and our teachers are abandoned;
• Our roads and bridges languish in disrepair, while our borders and ports remain under-inspected and insecure;
• Our most basic ideals about law and justice have been tossed out, as our President uses fear to pursue his reckless agenda; and
• We remain mired in Iraq – a war built on lies and manipulated intelligence.
Nowhere in American history – not even Watergate – have we been confronted with an Administration so ambivalent about the truth and established law. A recent nonpartisan study found that the Bush Administration lied over 900 times in the prelude to the Iraq war, misleading us on nearly every critical issue.
It is time that we reclaim this country and undue the damage wrought by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
Democrats in Congress must stand up and lead – no matter the cost.
We need to finally act on the promises of the 2006 election and stop at nothing to bring our troops home from the Iraq. If we do not act Bush will install a permanent US presence in Iraq and John McCain’s vision of a 100 year US occupation will become reality. (Click here to read my recent editorial on the Failure of the Bush Surge in Iraq).
It is time that we faced up to our global responsibilities and begin to prevent global warming. In the richest nation on earth, it is long past time that we provide health insurance to every single American.
We must aggressively pursue impeachment hearings for Vice President Dick Cheney due to serious allegations of abuse of power including illegal wiretapping, torture, and deliberate lies to bring us to war. (Click here to see my recent speech on the floor of the House calling for impeachment hearings.)
Fifteen members of Congress – including 4 Judiciary Committee members – have already joined my call to Chairman Conyers for impeachment hearings and more are joining each day: (Click here to see the letter I am sending to Congressman Conyers and the list of members who have joined as signatories).
Bush Administration officials and cabinet members must answer questions – on the record – regarding illegal wiretapping, torture, and what I perceive as deliberate, knowing lies to the American people in an effort to bring us to war in Iraq.
Impeachment hearings are essential because the Administration has recklessly used claims of executive privilege to block key witnesses from testifying. Impeachment hearings could force the Administration to drop their executive privilege claims and we would then finally get the answers this nation deserves. We are making progress with over 216,000 Americans already registering their support at WexlerWantsHearings.com.
We must rededicate ourselves to the core values of this nation and finally deliver to the American people the change they demanded when they stood up and voted for Democrats in 2006.
I value your support, and I am thankful for your patriotism.
Together, we can begin to restore the state of our Union.
House Acts of Contempt of Congress
Congressman Robert Wexler
Today, thanks in great part to your advocacy and persistence, the House of Representatives took a major, tangible step towards holding the Bush Administration accountable.
In a vote on the House floor, we acted to enforce the law and our Constitution, and hold former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten in Contempt of Congress.
(Please click here to watch my speech on the House Floor calling for contempt.) Wexler calls for Contempt Charge on House Floor
Bolten and Miers have ignored congressional subpoenas for nine months and thumbed their noses at Congress and the American people.
Executive privilege has never permitted officials to avoid appearing altogether when subpoenaed. This behavior is unprecedented and outrageous.
Now, these two renegade officials must face up to their blatant disregard of the law and constitution.
Our message of accountability for Bush/Cheney is finally resonating on Capitol Hill.
Judiciary Chairman John Conyers fought hard to bring this to a vote, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi herself took the floor to support contempt.
While Democrats may not all agree on how to press this Administration, one thing is clear:
Today, Congress has asserted its rights under the Constitution.
We must not back down.
We must never cede the rights of the Congress to the Executive.
I am pleased to inform you that today’s legislation allows Congress to bypass the Attorney General (who has stated to me this week that he would not enforce contempt) and immediately take action in the courts.
(Click here to see me confront the Attorney General on contempt last week.)
Today, Congress finally defended the Constitution and our rights as an equal branch of government.