WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Outspoken Bush administration critic Sen. Russ Feingold renewed a call Sunday to censure President George W. Bush over the U.S. war in Iraq, but the Democrats’ Senate leader discouraged the move.
Feingold, the Wisconsin Democrat who failed to censure Bush last year over warrantless wiretaps, said he wants to introduce a resolution to admonish Bush for allowing U.S. troops to get mired in Iraq and other missteps in his war on terrorism.
“Congress needs to formally condemn the president and members of the administration for misconduct before and during the Iraq war, and for undermining the rule of law at home,” Feingold said in a statement.
However, Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada said Senate Republicans were sure to block any censure vote.
“The president already has the mark of the American people that he’s the worst president we’ve ever had, and I don’t think we need a censure resolution in the Senate to prove that,” Reid told CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican and Bush ally, dismissed Feingold’s censure push as a stunt akin to Democrats’ round-the-clock attempt last week to force Bush to commit to a U.S. troop withdrawal, which failed.
“All they do is have Iraq votes and investigations,” McConnell said on CNN’s “Late Edition.”
According to a Reuters/Zogby poll released last week, most Americans are dissatisfied with both Congress and Bush, who has 18 months left in his term.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans gave Bush negative marks on his job performance, but an even bigger majority - 83 percent - say the Democratic-controlled Congress is doing only a fair to poor job - the worst mark for Congress in a Zogby poll.
Democrats argue that a change in strategy is needed in the Iraq war, now in its fifth year, amid increasing violence. Republicans warn a troop pullout will embolden insurgents and increase the risk of a terrorist attack on the United States.