Pelosi: Bush Impeachment `Off the Table'
NY Times | November 9, 2006
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi promised Wednesday that when her party takes over, the new majority will not attempt to remove President Bush from office, despite earlier pledges to the contrary from others in the caucus.
“I have said it before and I will say it again: Impeachment is off the table,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said during a news conference.
Pelosi also said Democrats, despite complaining about years of unfair treatment by the majority GOP, “are not about getting even” with Republicans.
She said the GOP, which frequently excluded Democrats from conference committee hearings and often blocked attempts to introduce amendments, would not suffer similar treatment.
“Democrats pledge civility and bipartisanship in the conduct of the work here and we pledge partnerships with Congress and the Republicans in Congress, and the president — not partisanship.”
She also extended an olive branch to Bush on the war in Iraq, saying she plans to work with him on a new plan but will not support the current strategy and supports beginning redeployment of troops by the end of the year.
Pelosi also said she supports the idea of a bipartisan summit on the war.
“We know, ‘stay the course,' is not the way,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi said she received a brief, early-morning call from Bush, who invited her to lunch on Thursday.
“We both expressed our wish to work in a bipartisan way for the benefit of the American people.”
A handful of Democratic lawmakers who are considered top Pelosi lieutenants said after the news conference that they believe she will be able to keep their traditionally diverse caucus united, despite an influx of new, more moderate Democrats.
“She will force a synergistic union,” of the caucus, said Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman John B. Larson of Connecticut.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said the election has sent a message to Democrats that will foster a sense of unity even among those who agree the least.
But the party must still complete potentially contentious leadership elections before any of that work can begin.
Pelosi was unwilling to discuss those elections Wednesday, saying the votes for all the House seats have not been counted.
“There are people who have ambitions,” Lofgren acknowledged. “A majority of the Democratic members have never served in the majority. There is a lot of pent-up ambition to do something.”
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