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THE HOUSE DEBATE

Voices

October 09, 1998

"All of us are pulled in many directions by our political parties, by philosophy and friendships. We're pulled by many competing forces, but mostly we're moved by our consciences. We must listen to that still small voice that whispers in our ear 'Duty, duty, duty."'

--Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee

***

"While the president deserves significant punishment, there is no basis for impeachment... . And it is time to move on and solve the problems facing the American people, like health care, education, and protecting seniors' retirement."

--Rep. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.)

***

"His actions were not inappropriate; they were predatory, reckless, breathtakingly arrogant for a man already a defendant in a sexual harassment suit... We cannot define the president's character, but we must define the nation's.

--Rep. Paul McHale, (D-Pa.)

***

"Impeachment historically was to be used for when the misconduct of the executive was so severe that it threatened the very constitutional system of government itself. Ben Franklin described it as 'the alternative to assassination.' It is that standard that needs to be applied in this case..."

--Rep. Zoe Lofgren

(D-San Jose)

***

"We will be sending a message to this and all future presidents that if, in fact, the evidence establishes that you or any future president have committed perjury, obstruction of justice, subversion of our judicial system, that we will be saying, 'No, sir, Mr. President, these things you cannot do."

--Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.)

***

"The reason for [the impeachment vote] is because it's the only thing that [the Republicans] have to take to the American people before this election..."

--Rep. Charles B. Rangel

(D-N.Y.)

***

"This nation sits at a crossroads. One direction points to the higher road of the rule of law. Sometimes hard, sometimes unpleasant, this path relies on truth, justice and the rigorous application of the principle that no man is above the law."

--Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas)

***

"To my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, truth matters. But the Constitution also matters.... As George Mason indicated, impeachable offenses are dangerous--dangerous and great offenses against the Constitution. They are subversion of the Constitution."

--Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee

(D-Texas)

***

"There is a way to punish the lying without punishing the American people who have clearly had enough of this and then some. And Mr. Speaker, I believe that the standard that we apply should be no higher and no lower than we would apply to ourselves and that we have applied to you, sir, in this very chamber."

--Rep. Lloyd Doggett

(D-Texas)

***

"It's very apparent that from the very beginning you [House Republicans] have not wanted William Jefferson Clinton as your president. But the American people are watching you. They know that this process is unfair. So, you keep going. Your time will come."

--Rep. Carrie P. Meek (D-Fla.)

***

"This House has an obligation to embrace the words of one of our predecessors, Abraham Lincoln, who called on every American lover of liberty not to violate the rule of law nor show toleration for those who do."

--Rep. James E. Rogan

(R-Glendale)

***

"We're all profoundly hurt by what the president has done...But this investigation must be ended fairly and quickly. It has hurt our nation, and it's hurt our children. We must not compound the hurt."

--House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt

(D-Mo.)

***

"This is not about sex. This is not about lying about sex. It is rather, when under oath, does one lie about sex."

--Rep. George W. Gekas

(R-Pa.)

***

"The issue in a potential impeachment is whether to overturn the results of a national election, the free expression of the popular will of the American people. It's an enormous responsibility and an extraordinary power."

--Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.)

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