By Thomas Ferraro
WASHINGTON, June 11 (Reuters) - An apparently doomed bid to impeach President George W. Bush, largely on charges of misleading the U.S. into the Iraq war, was referred on Wednesday to the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.
On a 251-166 vote, the House sent 35 articles of impeachment introduced by Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio to the panel where they are expected to die.
House Democratic leaders have repeatedly said, since winning control of the chamber in the 2006 elections, that they would not consider any effort to remove Bush from office.
They have argued such an attempt would likely fail in the closely divided Congress and distract from efforts to enact their ambitious legislative agenda.
Democrats have passed much of their agenda, including raising the minimum wage for the first time in a decade and bolstering U.S. security. But they have failed to fulfill a vow to begin to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq, angering activists who helped them win control of Congress two years ago.
Kucinich said he plans to rally public support to pressure the Judiciary Committee to hold hearings, and for Congress to impeach Bush before the president’s term ends in January.
Kucinich accuses Bush of a host of violations, including making a false case for the Iraq war, illegally spying on Americans and authorizing torture of terror suspects. The White House denies any wrongdoing.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer defended Democrats’ actions, saying they had increased oversight of the administration and for the first time held Bush accountable.
(editing by David Alexander and Cynthia Osterman)