Wexler wants impeachment hearings

A top Jewish congressman is urging Congress to consider impeaching Vice President Dick Cheney.

Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), told a local Democratic Party meeting on Monday in Palm Beach County, Fla. that impeachment hearings would leverage Congress’ bargaining power with the White House, which has repeatedly applied the veto pen to congressional initiatives.

“This administration has abused its power in office apparently in several ways and it is the obligation – not discretionary, but it is the obligation – of this Congress to investigate, and that is what I and some of my colleagues are beginning to call for,” Wexler said, an apparent dig at the U.S. House of Representatives speaker, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) who has said that she will not consider impeachment hearings.

He said such hearings would also make the United States more popular overseas and facilitate alliances. “If we want to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power we need to become more popular,” Wexler said in remarks first reported by the Palm Beach Post and picked up by Raw Story, an alternative news website. “Let me tell you one more things those impeachment hearings will do, they will make America more popular.”

Wexler has not gone so far as to cosponsor a bill by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) , a longshot contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, calling for Cheney’s impeachment. Still, in November Wexler joined a minority of Democrats who voted against a motion to suppress debate of Kucinich’s measure.

Wexler said at the time that such a debate would help air alleged Bush administration abuses. “The American people are served well with a legitimate and thorough impeachment inquiry,” he said. Wexler’s status as a senior Democrat on the Foreign Affairs, Judiciary and Financial Service committees and his moderate views on foreign policy lend mainstream weight to the calls for impeachment hearings.

Of the 24 sponsors of Kucinich’s impeachment bill, three are Jewish: Reps. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Bob Filner (D-Calif.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)

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