Congressman Jim Leach (R, Iowa) has informed Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D, California) that he will co-sponsor her Resolution of Inquiry into Bush Administration communications with the U.K. about Iraq at the time of the Downing Street Memos. Leach is the first Republican member of Congress to publicly support a demand for an inquiry into the Bush Administration's pre-war claims. The 131 congress members who have signed Congressman John Conyers' letter to the President about the Downing Street Memo are all Democrats. The 11 Senators who have asked the Senate Intelligence Committee to do the investigation it committed to in February 2004 but never did are all Democrats.
The Resolution, H. Res. 375, is a privileged resolution which must be brought to a vote in the House International Relations Committee by September 16th, or Lee is permitted to demand a vote of the full House. Fifty-two Democrats, including Lee, have co-sponsored the Resolution. Leach is the first Republican to join them, and he is a member of the International Relations Committee..
The International Relations Committee has 27 Republican members and 23 Democratic members. Thus far 10 of the Democrats have co-sponsored the Resolution. If the other 13 vote for it as well, then along with Leach, one more Republican vote will be needed for a tie, or two more for passage.
Leach has questioned Bush's war policies for years and was one of five Republicans in May to vote for Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey's amendment requiring an exit strategy. Another of those five, Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, also serves on the International Relations Committee.
The Downing Street Memos: Leach Jumps Over the Fence
Political Affairs :
Republican Congressman Breaks Ranks
· progressive activism
· bush administration
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