Schiff House Democrats Urge Passage of Genocide Bill

GLENDALE–State Senator and Congressional hopeful for California’s 27th District Adam Schiff has been working with the Democratic leadership of the US House of Representatives to ensure immediate passage of House Resolution 398–The Armenian Genocide bill.

House Democratic leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.)–issued a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill)–urging him to immediately schedule a vote for Hres 398 on the House floor.

Sources in Washington indicated that House majority leader Richard Armey and House Majority Whip Tom Delay–both Republicans of Texas–have been vehemently oppossing the passage of this resolution.

Below is the letter written by Richard Gephardt to Speaker Hastert.

Dear Mr. Speaker:

I am writing to urge that you schedule for immediate floor consideration House Resolution 398–the "United States Training on and Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Resolution.:

As one of many Democratic Members of Congress who have been committed to obtaining official US Government recognition of the Armenian Genocide for many years–I was pleased to learn of your recent new-found interest in H. Res. 398. I was also heartened by initial reports that after languishing in the House International Relations Committee for almost a year–along with repeated refusals by the Republican Leadership and the Chairman of the International Relations Committee to take action–this resolution might now be acted upon by the House of Representatives.

Despite the prospects of House action on H. Res. 398–I was subsequently disappointed to learn that you have merely authorized the International Relations Committee to begin deliberations on H. Res. 398–which may entail hearings–subcommittee markup and full committee consideration. Mr. Speaker–resolutions recognizing the Armenian Genocide have been introduced in the House of Representatives in each of the past several Congresses. I share the views of many in the Armenian-American community that this issue requires little if any additional deliberation by the House of Representatives. I also understand that opposition to this resolution by several Republican members of the International Relations Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights could result in its rejection by that subcommittee or delays that could prevent its being considered by the House before the end of the 106th Congress.

In light of the above–I urge you to schedule H. res. 398 for immediate House floor consideration. Armenian-American communities throughout our nation have waited long enough for Congress to recognize the horrible genocide endured by many of their predecessors early in this century. I therefore implore you to avoid further delay or the possible derailment of this legislation.

Sincerely,

Richard Gephardt

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