WASHINGTON - The House voted yesterday to send articles of impeachment against President Bush to a committee that is not likely to hold hearings before the end of his term.

By a 251-166 vote, House members dispatched the measure to committee - a procedure often used to kill legislation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) long ago declared the prospects for impeachment proceedings "off the table."

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D., Ohio), who ran for president earlier this year, insists his resolution deserves more consideration. He spent more than four hours Monday reading his 35 articles of impeachment into the record, including charges that Bush manufactured a false case for going to war against Iraq.

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D., Md.) said Tuesday that the Democratic-led Congress was holding the Bush administration accountable, and questioned spending time on impeachment in the "waning months of this administration's tenure."

Every House seat, one-third of the Senate plus the presidency are up for grabs Nov. 4.

House leaders are against spending the remaining time in the abbreviated legislative schedule on impeachment proceedings.

The House vote sent the impeachment articles to the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D., Mich.), who had once vowed to hold impeachment hearings. He would not immediately comment on the articles' prospects for hearings.

Democratic aides widely suggested that those gauging the bill's prospects look to a precedent: impeachment articles - also by Kucinich - against Vice President Cheney, which were sent to Conyers' committee last November.

There is no evidence they will be considered before the administration leaves office Jan. 20.

How They Voted

Representatives from the Philadelphia area who voted to send the impeachment articles to committee were Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.), Robert A. Brady (D., Pa.), Michael N. Castle (R., Del.), Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), Tim Holden (D., Pa.), Frank A. LoBiondo (R., N.J.), Patrick Murphy (D., Pa.), Allyson Y. Schwartz

(D., Pa.) and Joe Sestak (D., Pa.).

Voting against the referral were Charles W. Dent (R., Pa.) Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.), Joseph R. Pitts (R., Pa.), H. James Saxton (R., N.J.) and Christopher H. Smith (R., N.J.).