Sanders skeptical of impeachment resolution

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(Host) Congressman Bernie Sanders says the resignation of former House Majority Leader Tom Delay shows that the tide is turning against Republican control in Washington.

But Sanders is skeptical of a resolution to impeach President Bush. The resolution will be considered by Vermont Democrats this weekend. Sanders says he doubts the resolution will be effective.

VPR’s John Dillon reports:

(Dillon) Sanders was in his Burlington office to criticize the Bush Administration’s proposed cuts in programs that help low income students prepare for college.

The programs are aimed at teenagers whose parents didn’t get a chance to get a college degree. About 6,800 Vermont students are participating this year.

Rachel Fredette attended the Upward Bound program for four years in high school.

(Fredette) “What Upward Bound did for me was took the mystique out of college and made it really attainable for me. They took us on college tours so we could see what campuses look like. They put us in contact with faculty members so we could talk about maybe what we want to major in.”

(Dillon) The administration’s proposed budget would eliminate $5.6 million in federal funding for three college-assistance programs, including Upward Bound.

Sanders says the president’s budget would target a number of higher education efforts, including financial aid.

(Sanders) “This is an example of a federal program that has worked. It has enabled a lot of people to go to college, to graduate from college, and to be successful in their lives, precisely because we said we are going to be working with you.”

(Dillon) Sanders also reacted to the resignation of former House Majority leader Tom Delay. The Texas congressmen is under indictment and one of his former staff members recently pleaded guilty in an ongoing congressional bribery investigation.

Sanders says that Delay is trying to deflect attention from the scandal by resigning before the mid term elections. But the congressman predicted it won’t work.

(Sanders) “When you talk about the dynamic of what is going on in Washington today, it is money talks. You pay the price. You’ll get what you want. And if you don’t have the money, if you’re like these young people here today who simply want the opportunity to get a decent college education, you’re program’s going to be eliminated.”

(Host) Sanders also was skeptical of a impeachment resolution that Vermont Democrats will consider this weekend.

(Sanders) “Here are some of the problems that I have with that. If tomorrow, you impeach George Bush, which is clearly not going to happen in a Republican and Republican Senate, you end up with Dick Cheney as president of the United States. I don’t see that as a major step forward to be frank with you.”

(Dillon) Sanders has signed on to legislation introduced by Representative John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat. The resolution would create a committee to gather evidence about the president’s conduct, including whether he manipulated intelligence leading up to the Iraq War.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m John Dillon in Burlington.

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