Impeachment Debate Resumes
Roman, Nancy E., Murray, Frank J., The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
The House of Representatives will meet at 9 this morning to consider the impeachment of President Clinton after a second day that closed with a dramatic bombshell.
After House Democrats lost a battle late last night to put off the impeachment debate indefinitely, a Capitol Hill newspaper posted an article on its Internet site reporting that Speaker-elect Robert L. Livingston "has had sexual affairs in his past and will offer to resign."
A late-evening meeting of the House Republican Conference concluded with an announcement that Mr. Livingston, contrary to the report in the weekly Roll Call, did not offer to step down as speaker-elect and has no intention of doing so.
"I will not be intimidated," he said.
The revelation did not change the vote of moderate Republicans, several more of whom announced yesterday they will support impeachment. The announcements make it mathematically all but impossible for the president to avoid being impeached.
The Livingston disclosure followed the harshest words yet from the incoming speaker, who spoke passionately on the House floor in support of opening the impeachment debate, delayed after Mr. Clinton began bombing Iraq.
"Let us not prolong the harm to the country by hanging this issue out in this body," Mr. Livingston said. "It allows us to face the issue head on. If it is meritorious it will pass. If not, it will fail."
It was not clear last night how long debate will last, or when the final votes will be taken.
Republican House leaders were hoping to extend the debate beyond the one hour allowed for a privileged resolution under House rules. They met last night to review rules and procedures; Democrats will meet this morning to do the same.
During a contentious floor debate yesterday on whether to proceed with the impeachment debate, Democrats seized on the military action in the Persian Gulf as reason to hold off until at least next week.
"We must think not only of how this activity will be received by members or other Americans around the country," said House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt. "We believe we've got to also look at how Saddam Hussein will perceive the idea and the information that, while he is under physical attack by the United States and its people, we are having a debate in our House of Representatives to remove the commander in chief from his office."
But Mr. Livingston and others noted that the House moved to impeach President Nixon while the Vietnam War was under way.
Rep. Tillie Fowler, Florida Republican and vice chairman of the Republican conference, said that when Mr. Clinton and Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen were asked yesterday whether a vote on impeachment would undercut his authority, they each answered "no."
"Both the president and the secretary of defense are saying it does not undermine their authority," she said. "It's time we move forward."
Several Republican military veterans said impeachment would have no bearing on troop morale.
"Our fighting men are fighting for our constitutional privilege," said Rep. Sam Johnson, who spent seven years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Mr. Johnson said if Congress had not continued its operations - providing for the troops - "I probably wouldn't be here today."
Duncan Hunter, California Republican and another Vietnam veteran, said he has concluded that "If we hold up this process as a result of the strikes that are going on, the troops will feel they've been used for political purposes. And then they will be demoralized."
Democrats - most of whom, like most Republicans, have never served in the military - argued that voting to impeach Mr. Clinton would be perceived as a vote of no confidence in Operation Desert Fox.
"It makes no sense to go forward when our young men and women are under arms," said House Minority Whip David E. Bonior of Michigan.
But Rep. Joseph R. Pitts, Pennsylvania Republican, said when he was fighting in Vietnam he was disturbed by Americans, "like Jane Fonda and Bill Clinton," who didn't support the war.
Despite the delay and strong opposition from Democrats - including an anti-impeachment rally on the Capitol lawn - momentum continued to build toward impeachment.
Rep. Heather Wilson, New Mexico Republican who served in the military, said she will vote to impeach Mr. Clinton. None of the dozens of swing Republicans who announced support for impeachment Tuesday or Wednesday retracted those earlier vows.
"It is hard in this environment not to be skeptical," she said. "It hasn't changed any perspectives on this at all."
Other moderates who declared yesterday included Rep. Constance A. Morelaa, a White House target widely assumed to be of six Republicans who would oppose impeachment.
Rep. W.J. "Billy" Tauzin also said the delay of the impeachment debate wouldn't change any minds.
"Members are making their individual minds up," he said. "The unannounced have decided by now. They are going to make up their own minds and their own hearts, and I don't think any external elements will change that."
Rep. John Linder, Georgia Republican, said pro-impeachment forces have had the momentum the past several days, but warned that it will not last forever.
"Let me put it this way: There will be an argument a day here unless we come back in January," Mr. Linder said. "If we would yield to that we would be making a mistake. There is a tide, if we were to put if off for five or six days, that could flow away."
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott reiterated that if the House votes to impeach Mr. Clinton, he believes the Senate must go forward with a trial - some time after Jan. 6.
Mr. Lott, who had scoffed at the timing of the bombing, explained yesterday that he was saying that he was referring to the military timing - not the coincidence with the House impeachment proceedings.
Most House members said they had doubts about the timing, but that this was not the day to air them.
"I suggested to Bob [Livingston] last night that the American public in general are pretty wise and they can draw their own conclusions over whether it was coincidental or accidental," Mr. Tauzin said.
Mr. Livingston said the House must deal with impeachment; the question is when.
"Do we conclude that troops will complete their mission by Ramadan, or by Christmas Day or by New Year's Day or two weeks into January?" he asked "There's no way to know when the troops will have completed their mission. There's no way to know whether Saddam Hussein . . . decides to lash out."
Rep. Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat, said after the bitter partisan squabble, the House is doomed to dealing with vitriol.
"I don't know how we can have bipartisan agreement on anything in the next two years after what has happened today," he said.
Television network coverage plans for today's scheduled debate and possible vote by the U.S. House of Representatives on the four articles of impeachment passed by the Judiciary Committee:
ABC - 9 a.m.: Extended live coverage begins, followed by updates. Votes will be carried live.
CBS - 9 or 10 a.m.: When House debate commences extended live coverage begins, length determined by events. Votes will be carried live.
NBC - 9 or 10 a.m.: When House debate commences extended live coverage begins, length determined by events. Votes will be carried live.
PBS - 9 a.m.: Gavel-to-gavel coverage begins.
CNN - 9 a.m.: Extended coverage begins, interspersed with coverage of Iraq crisis as events warrant.
Fox News Channel - 9 a.m.: Extended live coverage begins, interspersed with coverage of Iraq crisis as events warrant.
MSNBC - 9 a.m.: Extended live coverage begins, interspersed with coverage of Iraq crisis as events warrant.
C-SPAN - 9 a.m.: Gavel-to-gavel coverage begins.
Court TV - 9 a.m.: Gavel-to-gavel coverage begins.
COUNTING THE VOTES
The Associated Press conducted a telephone survey of House members, and 195 lawmakers said they would support impeachment, 192 said they would oppose it, 31 remained undecided and 17 wouldn't answer or didn't return calls. Totals include members who said they were leaning toward a position.
Members were asked: "Would you vote to impeach President Clinton?"
Among the undecided and those not responding were 18 Democrats and 34 Republicans.
Republicans: Robert Aderholt, Ala.; Spencer Bachus, Ala.; Sonny Callahan, Ala.; Terry Everett, Ala.; Bob Riley, Ala.; Don Young, Alaska; J.D. Hayworth, Ariz.; Jim Kolbe, Ariz.; Matt Salmon, Ariz.; John Shadegg, Ariz.; Bob Stump, Ariz.; Asa Hutchinson, Ark.
Brian Bilbray, Calif.; Mary Bono, Calif.; Ken Calvert, Calif.; Tom Campbell, Calif.; Randy Cunningham, Calif.; John Doolittle, Calif.; David Dreier, Calif.; Elton Gallegly, Calif.; Wally Herger, Calif.; Steve Horn, Calif.; Duncan Hunter, Calif.; Jerry Lewis, Calif.; Howard McKeon, Calif.; Ron Packard, Calif.; Richard Pombo, Calif.; George Radanovich, Calif.; James Rogan, Calif.; Dana Rohrabacher, Calif.; Ed Royce, Calif.; Bill Thomas, Calif.
Scott McInnis, Colo.; Dan Schaefer, Colo.; Robert Schaffer, Colo.; Nancy Johnson, Conn.; Charles Canady, Fla.; Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Fla.; Mark Foley, Fla.; Tillie Fowler, Fla.; Bill McCollum, Fla.; John Mica, Fla.; Dan Miller, Fla.; Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Fla.; Clay Shaw, Fla.; Clifford Stearns, Fla.; Dave Weldon, Fla.; Bill Young, Fla.; Bob Barr, Ga.; Saxby Chambliss, Ga.; Michael Collins, Ga.; Nathan Deal, Ga.; Jack Kingston, Ga.; John Linder, Ga.; Charles Norwood, Ga.
Helen Chenoweth, Idaho; Philip Crane, Ill.; Thomas Ewing, Ill.; Dennis Hastert, Ill.; Henry Hyde, Ill.; Donald Manzullo, Ill.; John Porter, Ill.; John Shimkus, Ill.; Gerald Weller, Ill.; Dan Burton, Ind.; Steve Buyer, Ind.; David McIntosh, Ind.; Edward Pease, Ind.; Greg Ganske, Iowa; Thomas Latham, Iowa; Jim Leach, Iowa; Jim Nussle, Iowa; Jim Ryun, Kan.; Vince Snowbarger, Kan.; Todd Tiahrt, Kan.
Ron Lewis, Ky.; Anne Northup, Ky.; Richard Baker, La.; John Cooksey, La.; Robert Livingston, La.; Jim McCrery, La.; Billy Tauzin, La.; Roscoe Bartlett, Md.; Robert Ehrlich, Md.; Wayne Gilchrest, Md.; Dave Camp, Mich.; Vernon Ehlers, Mich.; Peter Hoekstra, Mich.; Joseph Knollenberg, Mich.; Nick Smith, Mich.; Fred Upton, Mich.; Gil Gutknecht, Minn.; Mike Parker, Miss.; Charles Pickering, Miss.; Roger Wicker, Miss.
Roy Blunt, Mo.; Jo Ann Emerson, Mo.; Kenny Hulshof, Mo.; James Talent, Mo.; Rick Hill, Mont.; Bill Barrett, Neb.; Doug Bereuter, Neb.; Jon Christensen, Neb.; Charles Bass, N.H.; John E. Sununu, N.H.; Bob Franks, N.J.; Rodney Frelinghuysen, N.J.; Frank LoBiondo, N.J.; Mike Pappas, N.J.; Marge Roukema, N.J.; Jim Saxton, N.J.; Christopher Smith, N.J.; William Redmond, N.M.; Joe Skeen, N.M.; Heather Wilson, N.M.
Sherwood Boehlert, N.Y.; Michael Forbes, N.Y.; Sue Kelly, N.Y.; Rick Lazio, N.Y.; John McHugh, N.Y.; Bill Paxon, N.Y.; Jack Quinn, N.Y.; Gerald Solomon, N.Y.; James Walsh, N.Y.; Cass Ballenger, N.C.; Richard Burr, N.C.; Howard Coble, N.C.; Walter Jones, N.C.; Sue Myrick, N.C.; Charles Taylor, N.C.; John Boehner, Ohio; Steve Chabot, Ohio; Paul Gillmor, Ohio; Dave Hobson, Ohio; John Kasich, Ohio; Steven LaTourette, Ohio; Bob Ney, Ohio; Michael Oxley, Ohio; Rob Portman, Ohio; Deborah Pryce, Ohio; Ralph Regula, Ohio.
Tom Coburn, Okla.; Ernest Istook, Okla.; Steve Largent, Okla.; Frank Lucas, Okla.; Wes Watkins, Okla.; J.C. Watts, Okla.; Robert Smith, Ore.; George Gekas, Pa.; William Goodling, Pa.; John Peterson, Pa.; Joseph Pitts, Pa.; Curt Weldon, Pa.; Lindsey Graham, S.C.; Bob Inglis, S.C.; Mark Sanford, S.C.; Floyd Spence, S.C.; John Thune, S.D.; Ed Bryant, Tenn.; John Duncan, Tenn.; Van Hilleary, Tenn.; William Jenkins, Tenn.; Zach Wamp, Tenn.
Bill Archer, Texas; Dick Armey, Texas; Joe Barton, Texas; Henry Bonilla, Texas; Kevin Brady, Texas; Larry Combest, Texas; Tom DeLay, Texas; Kay Granger, Texas; Sam Johnson, Texas; Ron Paul, Texas; Pete Sessions, Texas; Lamar Smith, Texas; Christopher Cannon, Utah; Merrill Cook, Utah; James Hansen, Utah; Herbert Bateman, Va.; Thomas Bliley, Va.; Tom Davis, Va.; Robert Goodlatte, Va.; Frank Wolf, Va.
Jennifer Dunn, Wash.; Doc Hastings, Wash.; Jack Metcalf, Wash.; George Nethercutt, Wash.; Linda Smith, Wash.; Rick White, Wash.; Mark Neumann, Wis.; James Sensenbrenner, Wis.; Barbara Cubin, Wyo.
Democrats: Gene Taylor, Miss.; Ralph Hall, Texas; Virgil Goode, Va.
Republicans: Jay Kim, Calif.; Christopher Shays, Conn.; Porter Goss, Fla.; Amo Houghton, N.Y.; Peter King, N.Y.
Democrats: Bud Cramer, Ala.; Earl Hilliard, Ala.; Ed Pastor, Ariz.; Marion Berry, Ark.; Vic Snyder, Ark.; Xavier Becerra, Calif.; Howard Berman, Calif.; George Brown, Calif.; Julian Dixon, Calif.; Cal Dooley, Calif.; Anna Eshoo, Calif.; Sam Farr, Calif.; Vic Fazio, Calif.; Bob Filner, Calif.; Jane Harman, Calif.; Tom Lantos, Calif.; Barbara Lee, Calif.; Zoe Lofgren, Calif.; Matthew Martinez, Calif.; Robert Matsui, Calif.; Juanita Millender-McDonald, Calif.; George Miller, Calif.; Nancy Pelosi, Calif.; Lucille Roybal-Allard, Calif.; Brad Sherman, Calif.; Fortney Stark, Calif.; Ellen Tauscher, Calif.; Maxine Waters, Calif.; Henry Waxman, Calif.; Lynn Woolsey, Calif.
Diana DeGette, Colo.; David Skaggs, Colo.; Rosa DeLauro, Conn.; Sam Gejdenson, Conn.; Barbara Kennelly, Conn.; James Maloney, Conn.; Allen Boyd, Fla.; Corrine Brown, Fla.; Jim Davis, Fla.; Peter Deutsch, Fla.; Alcee Hastings, Fla.; Karen Thurman, Fla.; Robert Wexler, Fla.; John Lewis, Ga.; Cynthia McKinney, Ga.; Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii; Patsy Mink, Hawaii.
Rod Blagojevich, Ill.; Jerry Costello, Ill.; Danny Davis, Ill.; Lane Evans, Ill.; Luis Gutierrez, Ill.; Jesse Jackson Jr., Ill.; Glenn Poshard, Ill.; Bobby Rush, Ill.; Sidney Yates, Ill.; Julia Carson, Ind.; Lee Hamilton, Ind.; Tim Roemer, Ind.; Leonard Boswell, Iowa; William Jefferson, La.; Chris John, La.; Thomas Allen, Maine; John Baldacci, Maine; Benjamin Cardin, Md.; Elijah Cummings, Md.; Steny Hoyer, Md.; Albert Wynn, Md.
William Delahunt, Mass.; Barney Frank, Mass.; Joseph Kennedy II, Mass.; Edward Markey, Mass.; James McGovern, Mass.; Martin Meehan, Mass.; Joe Moakley, Mass.; Richard Neal, Mass.; John Olver, Mass.; John Tierney, Mass.; James Barcia, Mich.; David Bonior, Mich.; John Conyers, Mich.; John Dingell, Mich.; Dale Kildee, Mich.; Carolyn Kilpatrick, Mich.; Sander Levin, Mich.; Lynn Rivers, Mich.; Debbie Stabenow, Mich.; Bart Stupak, Mich.
William Luther, Minn.; David Minge, Minn.; James Oberstar, Minn.; Collin Peterson, Minn.; Martin Sabo, Minn.; Bruce Vento, Minn.; Bennie Thompson, Miss.; William Clay, Mo.; Richard Gephardt, Mo.; Karen McCarthy, Mo.; Ike Skelton, Mo.; Robert Andrews, N.J.; Robert Menendez, N.J.; Frank Pallone, N.J.; Donald Payne, N.J.; Steven Rothman, N.J.
Gary Ackerman, N.Y.; Eliot Engel, N.Y.; Maurice Hinchey, N.Y.; John LaFalce, N.Y.; Nita Lowey, N.Y.; Carolyn Maloney, N.Y.; Thomas Manton, N.Y.; Carolyn McCarthy, N.Y.; Michael McNulty, N.Y.; Gregory Meeks, N.Y.; Jerrold Nadler, N.Y.; Major Owens, N.Y.; Charles Rangel, N.Y.; Charles Schumer, N.Y.; Jose Serrano, N.Y.; Louise Slaughter, N.Y.; Edolphus Towns, N.Y.; Nydia Velazquez, N.Y.
Eva Clayton, N.C.; Bob Etheridge, N.C.; William Hefner, N.C.; Mike McIntyre, N.C.; David Price, N.C.; Melvin Watt, N.C.; Earl Pomeroy, N.D.; Sherrod Brown, Ohio; Tony Hall, Ohio; Dennis Kucinich, Ohio; Thomas Sawyer, Ohio; Louis Stokes, Ohio; Ted Strickland, Ohio; James Traficant, Ohio; Earl Blumenauer, Ore.; Peter DeFazio, Ore.; Elizabeth Furse, Ore.; Darlene Hooley, Ore.
Robert Borski, Pa.; Robert Brady, Pa.; William Coyne, Pa.; Michael Doyle, Pa.; Chaka Fattah, Pa.; Tim Holden, Pa.; Paul Kanjorski, Pa.; Ron Klink, Pa.; Frank Mascara, Pa.; John Murtha, Pa.; Patrick Kennedy, R.I.; Robert Weygand, R.I.; James Clyburn, S.C.; John Spratt, S.C.; Bob Clement, Tenn.; Harold Ford, Tenn.; Bart Gordon, Tenn.; John Tanner, Tenn.
Ken Bentsen, Texas; Lloyd Doggett, Texas; Chet Edwards, Texas; Martin Frost, Texas; Henry Gonzalez, Texas; Gene Green, Texas; Ruben Hinojosa, Texas; Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas; Eddie Bernice Johnson, Texas; Nick Lampson, Texas; Silvestre Reyes, Texas; Ciro Rodriguez, Texas; Max Sandlin, Texas; Jim Turner, Texas.
Frederick Boucher, Va.; James Moran, Va.; Robert Scott, Va.; Norman Sisisky, Va.; Norm Dicks, Wash.; Jim McDermott, Wash.; Adam Smith, Wash.; Alan Mollohan, W.Va.; Nick Rahall, W.Va.; Robert Wise, W.Va.; Tom Barrett, Wis.; Jay Johnson, Wis.; Ron Kind, Wis.; Gerald Kleczka, Wis.
Independent: Bernard Sanders, Vt.
Republicans: Frank Riggs, Calif.; Michael Castle, Del.; Mike Crapo, Idaho; Harris Fawell, Ill.; John Hostettler, Ind.; Mark Souder, Ind.; Jerry Moran, Kan.; Jim Bunning, Ky.; Edward Whitfield, Ky.; Constance Morella, Md.; Jim Ramstad, Minn.; John Ensign, Nev.; Jim Gibbons, Nev.; Vito Fossella, N.Y.; Benjamin Gilman, N.Y.; Philip English, Pa.; Jon Fox, Pa.; Jim Greenwood, Pa.; Bud Shuster, Pa.; Scott Klug, Wis.; Thomas Petri, Wis.
Democrats: Loretta Sanchez, Calif.; William Lipinski, Ill.; Peter Visclosky, Ind.; Scotty Baesler, Ky.; Pat Danner, Mo.; William Pascrell, N.J.; Marcy Kaptur, Ohio; Solomon Ortiz, Texas; Charles Stenholm, Texas; Owen Pickett, Va.…
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Publication information: Article title: Impeachment Debate Resumes. Contributors: Roman, Nancy E. - Author, Murray, Frank J. - Author. Newspaper title: The Washington Times (Washington, DC). Publication date: December 18, 1998. Page number: 1. © 2009 The Washington Times LLC. COPYRIGHT 1998 Gale Group.
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