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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Response from Rep. Giffords' Office

The following response was received by DFATucson following the meeting with Ms. Maura Policelli, Chief of Staff, Rep. Giffords' office, Washington DC. She wanted her reply to be shared with DFATucson members and other attendees:

Addressed to Chair of DFATucson, Dr. Rick Graap:

Dr. Graap -Thank you for the opportunity to meet with the Tucson Chapter of the Democracy for America organization last night. On behalf of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, I was honored to listen to the views of some of the Southern Arizonans she represents and discuss issues of great importance to our nation.

I commend your group for its dedicated participation in America's democratic process -- exercising your First Amendment right to free speech is a bold act of patriotism and I salute you for it.

Despite the fact that Congresswoman Giffords has not signed onto the impeachment resolution sponsored by Congressman Kucinich, she greatly respects your views as do I.

As I explained last night, I personally believe that the impeachment of President Bill Clinton tarnished the idea, the process, and even the word "impeachment." Most Americans have seen it used as a politically-motivated and partisan manuever. I believe that explains , in part, why the current leadership in the House has hesitated to bring impeachment procedures forward.

In addition, when Democrats won back the Majority in the House in 2006, the passions and policy ideas of many leaders of the Caucus were unleashed. Having been in the Minority for twelve years as the Republican-led Congress, joined by the Bush Administration, led America in the wrong direction, many senior Members were anxious to change the priorities and start to repair some of the damage. Chairmanships were appointed, new committees were formed, and ambitious agendas were set.

The 110th Congress got off to a running start, passing landmark legislation on issues of great importance to Americans. During the first 100 hours, the House passed bipartisan legislation on ethics reform, raising the the minimum wage, lowering prescription drug prices, cutting the interest rates on student loans, repealing the subsidies for oil companies, and inves ting in renewable energy.

I realize that you may not think that any of these policies are as important as impeachment. I am simply doing the best I can to address the strong desire among the attendees last night to understand WHY impeachment may not have been put at the top of the "to do" list by the new House leadership.

Since being sworn in last January, Congresswoman Giffords has been fighting for a responsible end to U.S. military combat operations in Iraq, better care for wounded soldiers and veterans, and more solar energy as one way to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. She believes that there is much more to do - our nation is at a critical juncture and facing remarkable challenges. Every day she focuses her energy on the specific needs and concerns of Southern Arizonans, knowing that some of her constituents will not always agree with her.

Thank you again for your leadership and activism. Your efforts - and the work of your organization - are critically important to the health of our democracy. Please forward this email to the individuals who attended the meeting last night.

Maura Policelli
Chief of Staff
U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords

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by DFA-TUCSON on Tuesday, March 04, 2008

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