Claim: Congress has "officially initiated President Obama's impeachment."
Example: [Collected via e-mail, February 2014]
While many have speculated over the potential of impeaching Pres. Barack Obama, several members of Congress have finally filed.
A resolution written by Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) claims Obama should be impeached for his defiance against the Constitution. The congressman officially stated the purpose of initiating the impeachment process was to "bring a civil action for declaratory or injunctive relief to challenge certain policies and actions taken by the executive branch."
Origin:A large number of articles falsely declaring that Congress has started impeachment proceedings against President Obama have circulated widely on the Internet since Barack Obama took office in January 2009, most of them spoofs from well known fake news web site. A similar item from February 2014 (quoted above) is not a spoof, but it's just as false.
In December 2013, Representative Tom Rice of South Carolina introduced
A group of House Republicans is pushing a resolution to bring legal action against President Barack Obama for overstepping his authority in executive orders.
The STOP (Stop This Overreaching Presidency) resolution, sponsored by
Rep. TomRice, targets Obama for allowing a year extension health care policies that were ended because of Obamacare; delaying the employer mandate for one year; deferring the deportation of illegal immigrants brought to the country as children and waiving part of the welfare work requirement.
Rice said he's spoken with the House GOP leadership about the resolution — which would be
non-bindingif it ever advanced, and wouldn't need Senate approval — and a hearing is being scheduled in both the Judiciary and Administration Committees.
The resolution has 74 Republican cosponsors, ranging from the more conservative to moderate members. Rice held a press conference to announce it with
Other than in the general sense of expressing disapproval of the President's actions, nothing about this resolution had anything to do with the constitutional impeachment process: it did seek to initiate formal impeachment hearings against President Obama, nor was it a step towards removing him from office.
Although 119 cosponsors (all of them Republicans) ultimately signed onto the STOP resolution, no action was ever taken on it by Congress after it was introduced to the House: it was not passed, voted upon, or even put up for a vote. It was immediately referred to the Committee on Rules and the Committee on House Administration, and it languished there until the end of the 113th Congress in January 2015.
Last updated: 21 May 2016
Originally published: 13 February 2014