Conyers Responds To Criticism From Sunday Talk Shows

Rep. John Conyers, Jr (D-Mich.) responded to comments made by Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) on ABC's This Week that Conyers has participated in mock impeachment hearings of President Bush.
Funny, I don't remember that hearing. I did organize a Democratic forum on the Downing Street Minutes, but that was not about impeachment, and the Republicans wouldn't even let us have a room for it

Conyers also responded to Tim Russert's question to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as to whether Conyers should remove a statement from his website calling for a bi-partisan committee to investigate pre-war intelligence and make recommendations for impeachment.
Perhaps Mr. Russert has forgotten, but I have been a Chairman before. For five years, from 1989 to 1994, I was the Chairman of the House Government Operations Committee, now called the Government Reform Committee. I have a record of trying to expose government waste, fraud and abuse.

That was back when Congress did something called "oversight." You know, in our tri-partite system of government, when Congress actually acted like a co-equal branch. The Republican Congress decided to be a rubber stamp for President Bush instead.

Perhaps, if we had a little oversight, we wouldn't be mired in a war based on false pretenses in which we have lost thousands of our brave men and women in uniform and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

Perhaps we would not have had an energy policy drawn up in secret with oil company executives that has led gas prices of more than three dollars per gallon.

Perhaps, if we had a little oversight, we wouldn't have a prescription drug plan written by the pharmaceutical companies, that prohibits the government from negotiating for lower prices with the same drug companies, and that no one really understands.

Perhaps, if we had a little oversight, we would know the extent to which our own government if spying on our phone calls, emails and other communications, contrary to the law of the land.

Oversight should not be a partisan undertaking. As we saw in the late 90's, when oversight is used out of anger or spite, or to gain partisan advantage, the American people express their strong disapproval.

Personally, I have had enough partisanship for the last six years to last a lifetime and I think we need to bring the American people back together.

But we also need to serve their interests. Congressional oversight is part of that. It is a check and balance, designed to protect the American people from too much power being concentrated in too few hands.

If I become a Chairman again, I intend to push for oversight of this Administration. Our Constitutional system of government requires no less.

 

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