Medicare, Impeachment Votes Expected Today

Posted July 15, 2008 at 10:48am

House leaders are filling up Tuesday’s agenda with a Medicare veto debate and action on a resolution aimed at impeaching President Bush, a measure that appears headed for committee hearings for the first time.

At about 2:00 p.m., the House is expected to begin debate on the president’s veto of Medicare physician payment legislation, which overwhelmingly cleared the chamber last month. Members will likely vote to override the veto around 3:00 p.m.

Later, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) is expected to bring forward his privileged resolution with an article of impeachment against Bush. The measure, which is slated to come up at about 5:00 p.m., is likely to be referred to the House Judiciary Committee by a roll call vote.

“If it is tabled, I will bring another impeachment resolution back this week,” said Kucinich. “We are losing our nation to a war based on lies. I am determined to get this bill to committee for a hearing.”

House Democratic leaders have signaled a willingness to hold hearings on the resolution, at which Kucinich is expected to testify. However, the focus of the hearings would be a larger look at alleged abuse of power, not impeachment.

The article of impeachment argues that Bush sent the nation to war in Iraq under false pretenses. When it hits the floor Tuesday evening, Kucinich will request that the Clerk read the entire resolution into the record, which is expected to take about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, Republicans are set to file another discharge petition in an effort to force debate on energy legislation they want passed.

Rep. Thelma Drake (R-Va.) will file the petition on a bill by Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) that would lower the number of fuel blend requirements and give the Environmental Protection Agency authority to waive fuel regulations in the event of a serious supply disruption.