On Chewing Gum and Walking

Despite its preoccupation with Watergate and impeachment, the 93rd Congress turned out an impressive array of legislation in its two-year lifespan. Along the way, it also took firm steps to recapture its eroded powers. CQ Almanac 1974

Among the legislation the 93rd Congress passed were the War Powers Act, the Congressional Budget Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Endangered Species Act,  the Safe Drinking Water Act,  the Fair Labor Standards Amendment, the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, the Amtrak Improvement Act, the Domestic Volunteer Services Act of 1973 (VISTA), the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act, the Research on Aging Act, the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1973, the Rehabilitation Act, the Legal Services Corporation Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, the National Mass Transportation Assistance Act, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act, the Privacy Act of 1974 , the Trade Act of 1974, and the National Health Planning and Resources Development Act.

Let’s stop repeating this tired piece of “conventional wisdom” that impeachment would paralyze Congress. Impeachment would only occupy one House committee as investigations took place, which would be the most time-consuming stage of the process. During the 93rd Congress, once articles of impeachment were brought against Nixon, it was only two weeks before he left office. If such investigations were thoroughly undertaken concerning this administration, there would be revelations that would make it untenable for even Senate Republicans to stand by the President and Vice President, and that a two thirds conviction could actually be obtained. This is assuming that Bush and Cheney had not already resigned in order to prevent their criminal – not just impeachable – offenses from coming out.

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