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Kucinich effort to impeach Bush kicked into limbo

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: House votes 251-166 to send impeachment resolution to committee
  • The maneuver allows the Democratic leadership to freeze the measure indefinitely
  • Rep. Kucinich contends that the president manufactured a false case for the war
  • Kucinich introduced a resolution last year to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney
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From Lisa Desjardins
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- An attempt by Rep. Dennis Kucinich to impeach President Bush was kicked into legislative no-man's land by members of his own party Wednesday.

The House voted 251-166 to send the Ohio Democrat's impeachment resolution to committee, a maneuver that allows the Democratic leadership to freeze the measure indefinitely.

The vote largely followed partisan lines, with 225 Democrats voting on Kucinich's request to send the measure to committee for consideration.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly said she would not support a resolution calling for Bush's impeachment, saying such a move was unlikely to succeed and would be divisive.

All 166 votes in favor of opening up a House impeachment debate came from Republicans, apparently eager to bring up the vote immediately and paint Democrats as political creatures in a time of serious issues.

Kucinich introduced the resolution into the House on Tuesday night.

Most of the congressman's resolution deals with the Iraq war, contending that the president manufactured a false case for the war, violated U.S. and international law to invade Iraq, failed to provide troops with proper equipment and falsified casualty reports for political purposes.

Kucinich also charges that Bush has illegally detained without charge both U.S. citizens and "foreign captives," and violated numerous U.S. laws through the use of "signing statements" declaring his intention to do so.

Other articles address global warming, voting rights, Medicare, the response to Hurricane Katrina and failure to comply with congressional subpoenas.

Last year, Kucinich introduced a resolution to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. But the attempt failed in November, when Republicans tried to force a debate on it. Democrats voted to send the resolution to the House Judiciary Committee, where the committee chairman, Rep. John Conyers, has taken no action on it.

An earlier resolution to impeach Cheney has languished in the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties since May 2007.

The House of Representatives has voted to impeach two presidents -- Andrew Johnson, in 1868, and Bill Clinton, in 1999 -- but both were acquitted by the Senate and remained in office. No U.S. vice president has been impeached.

Kucinich dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination for president in January to focus on his re-election bid in Ohio. He handily won the Democratic primary in his district March 4 and faces former state Rep. Jim Trakas in the general election.

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