Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Committee vote on Genocide resolution scheduled

First published in October 6, 2007 Armenian Reporter

Armenian Genocide resolution set for October 10 committee vote
Full House expected to act by Thanksgiving
by Emil Sanamyan

WASHINGTON – The House Foreign Affairs Committee will consider and vote on the Armenian Genocide resolution on October 10. A senior Democratic leader predicted a vote by the full House of Representatives vote by the end of November.

House Resolution 106 affirms the U.S. record on the Armenian Genocide. It was first introduced in January by Reps. Adam Schiff (D.-Calif.), Frank Pallone, Jr. (D.-N.J.),
Brad Sherman (D.-Calif.), George Radanovich (R.-Calif.), Joe Knollenberg (R.-Mich.) and Thaddeus McCotter (R.-Mich.). It has the backing of 226 of the 435 members of the House.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D.-Md.) have been longtime supporters of affirmation, and have pledged to bring the measure to a vote. But there has been stiff opposition to its consideration from Turkey and its Washington lobbies.

The administration has cited the importance of Turkey to U.S. interests as a justification for its opposition to congressional action.

Turkey refuses to acknowledge the genocide and has for decades pressured the international community to refrain from considering the issue.

Nevertheless, about 20 countries, from Canada to France to Lithuania have resisted Turkish pressure and formally affirmed the Genocide.

The international affirmation campaign has led to greater awareness of the genocide and a more open debate on the issue in Turkey.

According to recent polls by the International Republican Institute, close to 10 percent of Turks now say there was genocide and further 14 to 17 percent acknowledge “mistreatment” of Armenians.

In September 2005, a similar resolution was passed by the House International Affairs Committee by a vote of 40-7, but the Republican leadership at the time acquiesced to the administration’s position and did not bring the resolution to
a vote in the full House.

This time around the likely committee passage on October 10 is expected to be followed by a prompt House vote. Congressional aides told the Associated Press on October 3 that “the committee would not have taken up the resolution without [Speaker] Pelosi’s support.”

And Majority Leader Hoyer predicted the resolution will pass the House before Thanksgiving, the Los Angeles Times reported on October 3.

No comments: