Introduction of two censure resolutions aimed at President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and other administration officials

On 'Meet the Press' this morning, I announced that I will introduce two censure resolutions aimed at holding President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and other administration officials responsible for the destructive path down which they've taken our country. It's clear to me, and millions of Americans, that the time has come for accountability – on everything from the disastrous war in Iraq, to refusing, time and time again, to follow the rule of law. Members of Congress can no longer stand by and allow the White House to shred the Constitution, and thumb their noses at the American people.

Over recent months and years, we've learned that this President, and his administration, have used mistruths, spin, lofty-rhetoric, hyped-up intelligence reports, and scare tactics to drag this country into a war that can only be described as the worst foreign policy mistake in our nation's history. In addition, the administration, in an attempt to justify this mistake, has repeatedly distorted the situation on the ground in Iraq. As a result, the administration has dangerously weakened us in our efforts to fight those who attacked us on 9/11.

What's equally dangerous is the blatant disregard President Bush has shown for the rule of law on which our country was founded. Last year I introduced a resolution to censure President Bush for his failure to abide by the Constitution when he implemented his illegal domestic wiretapping program and for misleading the public about whether his administration was following the law. With your help, public scrutiny in this program was raised and the administration couldn't ignore it any longer. Earlier this year, the program was finally terminated and brought under the jurisdiction of the FISA statute.

Unfortunately, failing to abide by the law is a pattern for this President. From illegal domestic wiretapping, to the President's dubious signing statements, to redefining torture, to the current U.S. Attorney scandal, the list goes on and on. There are so many good reasons for the deep frustration so many of you and I feel about the direction of our country.

As I have said before, I believe the President and Vice President have likely committed what our Founding Fathers would have thought of as "high crimes and misdemeanors." However, at this time I do not believe it is in our nation's best interest to put important issues facing our country on the back burner to go through months and months of a divisive impeachment process. Some may disagree with that, but at a minimum we can agree that censure resolutions, holding the President and his administration accountable for the actions I've outlined above, are needed.

History must show that when confronted with an administration which does not recognize the separation of powers, which continually acts as if the executive branch is above the laws of our land, the American people and their elected officials stood up, in one voice, and demanded accountability.

I've heard from people in Wisconsin and across the country in recent months on what we can do to hold this administration accountable for its actions surrounding the Iraq war and its deliberate disregard for the law. Please click here to read more about my two censure proposals, tackling both issues, and give me feedback on both topics. I need your help to develop these resolutions so all of our voices are heard. I look forward to reading your thoughts and I'll be sure to keep everyone posted in the coming days. I'm going to be looking to each and every one of you for help in developing these resolutions and in pushing them forward.


Russ Feingold
United States Senator Honorary Chair, Progressive Patriots Fund



Since Sunday, when I announced that I am drafting two censure proposals condemning the President, Vice President, and the administration for their misguided actions in Iraq and for their disregard for the rule of law, I've received thousands of emails and phone calls from people in Wisconsin and around the country. I've also read and watched what 'pundits' and the 'D.C consultant class' have had to say about my proposals. And, while it's really no surprise, the two couldn't be farther away from one another.

I've heard some pundits characterize censure as 'piling on' an unpopular president that could, in the end, hurt Democrats in 2008. Some have said it's a 'big tactical mistake. I could go on, but I'm sure you get the point.

Meanwhile, outside of Washington, D.C., it's clear from the thousands of responses I've received, from people on both sides of the aisle, that the American people as a whole are sick and tired of the notion of an imperial presidency. Americans are demanding accountability.

From illegal domestic wiretapping, to the President's dubious signing statements, to the current U.S. Attorney scandal; from manipulating intelligence data to suit their ideology, to their dishonesty about weapons of mass destruction, to their disgraceful efforts to convince Americans that Iraq was directly involved with the attacks of 9/11, the Bush White House has failed this country in a catastrophic manner.

We have a duty and responsibility to make sure that this President, and future presidents, understand clearly that Americans value the rule of law and will not stand by while an administration ignores our laws and our Constitution.

I'm continuing to work on both censure resolutions and will formally introduce them in the coming days, but I still need your feedback. Please click here to send me your thoughts.

It's time to get our country moving in a new direction. But that new direction must start by acknowledging that the Bush Administration must be held to account and compelled to follow the laws of our country.


Russ Feingold
United States Senator Honorary Chair, Progressive Patriots Fund


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