But spokesman says impeachment would be harmful

Last updated: June 16. 2014 11:06PM - 2609 Views
By - smocarsky@civitasmedia.com

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The Democratic National Committee on Monday chided a local Congressman for a statement he made on the radio about a vote to impeach President Barack Obama.

U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton, was a guest on “The Gary Sutton Show” on News Radio 910 WSBA in York County on Monday and said a vote to impeach the president “probably could” pass in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“He’s just absolutely ignoring the Constitution, and ignoring the laws, and ignoring the checks and balances,” Barletta said of Obama.

“The problem is, you know, what do you do? For those that say ‘Impeach him for breaking the laws or bypassing the laws,’ you know, could that pass in the House? It probably … it probably could,” Barletta said. “Is the majority of the American people in favor of impeaching the president? I’m not sure about that.”

In an emailed statement about the show, Democratic National Committee Regional Press Secretary Ian Sams provided a link to a Buzzfeed.com story about Barletta’s statement. Embedded in the Buzzfeed story webpage is a YouTube video showing a photo of Barletta on the phone while a clip from the radio interview plays.

Buzzfeed is an online social news and entertainment company.

“So while Republicans are confident a political vote as outrageous and ill-founded as this could pass, let’s not forget all the commonsense initiatives they refuse to even bring up for a vote,” Sams wrote, listing strong support for such things as immigration reform, raising the minimum wage and ensuring equal pay for women.

“Republicans in the House are clearly committed to playing politics and relying on outrageous rhetoric instead of doing the job they were elected to do – standing up for the interests of the American people,” Sams wrote.

Tim Murtaugh, Barletta’s director of communications, said Barletta is asked all the time what Congress can do about Obama’s “consistent disregard for the law. Some people are so frustrated that they suggest impeachment, much the same way Democrats talked about President Bush.”

Murtaugh said Barletta’s “full answer is this: ‘Could that pass the House? Probably. Would the Senate ever convict? Certainly not. There’s not the will nationally to remove the president, so would it be wise to pursue that? Or would it be harmful to the country? Surely the latter.’ He is not advocating or proposing it.”

Murtaugh said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took a bill to protect firefighters that Barletta authored and that had passed the House 410-to-0 and added “poison pill language that effectively killed it. That’s a bigger problem than any made-up controversy.”

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