Democrats Draft Clinton Censure Motion, As Alternative To Impeachment

This is the text of a draft censure resolution to be offered by Democrats in the House Judiciary Committee.

The motion censures President Clinton and requires him to sign the resolution in acknowledgement.

Text of the Draft Censure Resolution to be offered by Democrats in the House Judiciary Committee

It is the Sense of the Congress that —

On January 20, 1993, William Jefferson Clinton took the oath, prescribed by the Constitution of the United States, faithfully to execute the Office of President; implicit in that oath is the obligation that the President set an example of high moral standards and conduct himself in a manner that fosters respect for the truth; and William Jefferson Clinton has egregiously failed in this obligation, and through his actions has violated the trust of the American people, lessened their esteem for the office of President and dishonored the office which they have entrusted to him.

Be it resolved that:

  1. The President made false statements concerning his reprehensible conduct with a subordinate;
  2. The President wrongfully took steps to delay discovery of the truth;
  3. No person is above the law, and the President remains subject to criminal and civil penalties;
  4. William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, by his
    conduct has brought upon himself and fully deserves the censure and condemnation of the American people and the Congress; and by his signature on this Joint Resolution, the President acknowledges this censure.

Keating And Hewson Do Battle In Censure Debate Over Sports Rorts Affair

The Liberal Opposition Leader, John Hewson, moved a motion of censure against Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating, in the House of Representatives, on February 24, 1994.

Keating had been prime minister for just over two years. He had defeated Hewson at the general election in March 1993. His 1993 Budget had broken an election promise on tax cuts and was widely criticised.

The censure motion focussed on the “Sports Rorts” affair. The Minister for Environment, Sport and Territories, Ros Kelly, had admitted the she used a whiteboard in her office to determine grants to sporting bodies. She was alleged to have favoured Labor and marginal electorates when deciding on grants. Kelly resigned as a minister four days after the censure debate.

Three months after this debate, Hewson lost the leadership of the Liberal Party. He was defeated in a challenge by the so-called “dream team” of Alexander Downer and Peter Costello.

The speakers in the debate were John Hewson, Paul Keating, Tim Fischer and Kim Beazley. The complete Hansard transcript is shown below. The video has been edited by the Parliamentary Sound and Vision Office for broadcast.

  • Listen to Hewson (15m)
  • Listen to Keating (7m)
  • Listen to Fischer (14m)
  • Listen to Beazley (15m)
  • Watch the Censure Debate (50m)

Hansard transcript of the Censure debate in the House of Representatives on February 24, 1994.

Dr HEWSON (Leader of the Opposition) (3.00 p.m.) —I seek leave to move:

That this House censures the Prime Minister for his refusal to ensure proper standards of ministerial responsibility, for his failure to sack the Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories, and for his undermining of the established processes of ministerial accountability to this parliament. [Read more…]