WASHINGTON – Democrats tried unsuccessfully Thursday to force the House to take up a measure condemning Republicans for "their refusal to conduct oversight" of the Bush administration's Iraq (search) war policy and to order investigations into it.
The House voted 220-191 to set aside a resolution offered by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (search), D-Calif.
"I think it brings shame to the House for this Congress to be engaged in a cover-up when it comes to revealing what's happening in Iraq," Pelosi said.
A smattering of Republicans on the House floor yelled objections in response. None took the floor to address her charges, and Rep. Phil Gingrey (search), R-Ga., who was presiding over the chamber at the time, ruled her effort out of order on procedural grounds.
Ron Bonjean, a spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., dismissed Pelosi's effort.
"The minority leader is a few days late and plenty of politics short," he said. "She's trying to grab cheap headlines after she saw the Senate Democratic leader attempt to."
Pelosi's effort to shine a spotlight on the Iraq war came two days after her counterpart in the Senate, Democratic leader Harry Reid (search) of Nevada, forced that chamber into an unusual closed session for more than two hours to discuss Iraq and prewar intelligence.
Republicans decried the effort as a political stunt, and accused Democrats of trying to change the subject from the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.
Pelosi's resolution calls on House Republicans "to comply with their oversight responsibilities, demands they conduct a through investigation of abuses relating to the Iraq war and condemns their refusal to conduct oversight of an executive branch controlled by the same party."
It accuses Republican leaders of failing "to undertake meaningful, substantive investigations of any of the abuses pertaining to the Iraq war, including the manipulation of prewar intelligence, the public release of a covert operative's name, the role of the vice president in Iraqi reconstruction, and the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal."