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Democrats Turn Heat on House

From Associated Press

Democrats tried unsuccessfully Thursday to force the GOP-controlled House to take up a measure condemning Republicans for “their refusal to conduct oversight” of the Bush administration’s Iraq war policy and order investigations into it.

The House voted 220 to 191 to set aside a resolution offered by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

“I think it brings shame to the House for this Congress to be engaged in a coverup when it comes to revealing what’s happening in Iraq,” Pelosi said.

A smattering of Republicans on the House floor yelled objections in response.

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None took the floor to address her charges, and Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), who was presiding over the chamber at the time, ruled her effort out of order on procedural grounds.

Pelosi’s effort to shine a spotlight on the Iraq war came two days after her Democratic counterpart in the Senate, Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, forced that chamber into an unusual closed session for more than two hours to discuss Iraq and prewar intelligence.

Republicans decried the effort as a political stunt and accused Democrats of trying to change the subject from the nomination of Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court.

A sweeping indictment of the president’s policies in Iraq, Pelosi’s resolution calls on House Republicans “to comply with their oversight responsibilities, demands they conduct a thorough investigation of abuses relating to the Iraq war, and condemns their refusal to conduct oversight of an executive branch controlled by the same party.”

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It accuses Republican leaders of failing “to undertake meaningful, substantive investigations of any of the abuses pertaining to the Iraq war, including the manipulation of prewar intelligence [and] the public release of a covert operative’s name.”


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