Feingold to Outline Case for Censuring Bush

Potential 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Russ Feingold (Wis.) will make his case for censuring President Bush today at 4 p.m. on the Senate floor. (Watch live at C-SPAN.org.)

Feingold announced yesterday on ABC’s “This Week” that he was plotting the rare move to censure the President for authorizing the terrorist surveillance program, which has drawn rebukes from Democrats since the New York Times broke the story in December.

"It’s an unusual step," Feingold said yesterday. "It’s a big step, but what the President did by consciously and intentionally violating the Constitution and laws of this country with this illegal wiretapping has to be answered."

Feingold’s office released a short media advisory Monday afternoon announcing the timing of the move.

The censure resolution accuses Bush of “authorizing an illegal domestic wiretapping program and then misleading Congress and the public about its existence and legality. Feingold says the resolution is a responsible step for Congress to take in response to the President’s undermining of the separation of powers and ignoring the rule of law.”

UPDATE — 4:16 p.m.: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R.-Tenn.) just released a statement slamming Feingold’s political ploy. Here you go:

"Senator Feingold should be ashamed of this political ploy.  This is another example of the Democrats’ failure to establish an agenda that meets the needs of the American people.  Senator Feingold’s time would be better spent putting forth constructive ideas rather than using cheap political tricks that compromise America’s national security by sending a dangerous signal of disunity around the globe. 

"The American people are squarely behind the president in fighting the War on Terror.  This stunt sends a dangerously wrongheaded message, and the Senate, on a bipartisan basis, ought to reject the Feingold resolution."


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