The senate in the northeastern US state of Vermont passed a resolution Friday calling on Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush, senate officials said.

The largely symbolic move, which stands little chance of going much further, was approved by 16 votes to nine and followed a public rally this week in the state capital Montpelier calling for Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to go.

"I was deeply moved by the meeting on Tuesday and I've been a supporter of this consistently from the beginning," Democratic Senate President Peter Shumlin told the Vermont Guardian newspaper.

"There hasn't been a president of the United States of America who has worked harder for impeachment hearings than President Bush and Vice President Cheney," he was quoted as saying.

"The neat thing about the Vermont legislature is that we listen to citizens," he told the newspaper.

A similar resolution has been before the state's House Judiciary Committee for weeks, but the speaker has reportedly been reluctant to spend time on the resolution, preferring to discuss education funding and health care.

Backers hope the resolution -- and similar measures proposed in a handful of other states -- will send a clear message to the White House.

"We're not standing here as Vermonters and impeaching the president, but we are sending a message and denouncing the actions of this administration," one supporter, Barry Aleshenick, told the Vermont Guardian.

"It's a matter of getting the ball rolling."

The verdant and mountainous state, which borders Canada and is the second least-populated state in the country, is best known for its maple syrup and liberal politics.

Besides the impeachment resolution, other business on the state legislature's agenda this week included "an act relating to home-fermented beverage competitions."

The Raw Story | Vermont pushes bid to impeach Bush