The South Dakota Republican Party state convention passed a resolution calling for the impeachment of President Barack Obama Saturday.
The resolution says Obama has “violated his oath of office in numerous ways.” It specifically cites the release of five Taliban combatants in a trade for captive U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl, Obama’s statement that people could keep insurance companies, and recent EPA regulations on power plants.
“Therefore, be it resolved that the South Dakota Republican Party calls on our U.S. Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president of the United States,” the resolution reads.
Allen Unruh of Sioux Falls sponsored the resolution.
“I’ve got a thick book on impeachable offenses of the president,” Unruh said, calling on South Dakota to “send a symbolic message that liberty shall be the law of the land.”
Delegate David Wheeler of Beadle County disagreed.
“I believe we should not use the power of impeachment for political purposes,” Wheeler said. “By doing this, we would look petty, like we can’t achieve our political goals through the political process.”
Larry Eliason of Potter County agreed, noting that he opposed the impeachment resolution even though “the only thing (Obama’s) done the last six years that I approve of is when he adopted a pet.”
But Larry Klipp of Butte County, a retired Marine, said matters go beyond mere political disagreements with Obama.
“If anyone in this room cannot see the horrendous, traitorous scandals run by the Obama administration, I will pray for you,” Klipp said.
Delegates voted 191-176 in favor of the resolution. The Pennington County delegation voted 47-9 in favor of the impeachment resolution, and Minnehaha County voted 28-15 in favor.
Rep. Kristi Noem, South Dakota’s lone delegate in the House of Representatives — which has the power to initiate impeachment proceedings — was cool to the resolution.
Noem, who addressed the Republican convention Saturday morning, hours before the resolutions was voted on, doesn’t believe impeachment is the “best way” to deal with Obama.
“The congresswoman currently believes the best way for Congress to hold the president accountable is to continue aggressive committee oversight and investigations into the administration’s actions like the ongoing VA scandal, the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS, Benghazi, and the recent Taliban prisoner exchange,” said Brittany Comins, Noem’s spokesperson.
If the House voted to impeach Obama, the Senate would then rule on the validity of the charges. It takes a two-thirds majority in the Senate to remove a president from office.