Rules Committee Approves Genocide Bill Vote Pending in House

WASHINGTON–The Rules Committee of the US House of Representatives Wednesday approved a closed rule on the Armenian Genocide Resolution–clearing the way for the bill to be debated and voted on by the entire House.

"Providing for consideration of the resolution (H. Res. 596) calling upon the President to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights–ethnic cleansing–and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide–and for other purposes," stipulated the Rules Committee.

"Resolved–That upon the adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider in the House the resolution (H. Res. 596) calling upon the President to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights–ethnic cleansing–and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide–and for other purposes. The resolution shall be considered as read for amendment. The amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the Committee on International Relations now printed in the resolution shall be considered as adopted. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the resolution–as amended–to final adoption without intervening motion except: (1) one hour of debate on the resolution–as amended–equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on International Relations; and (2) one motion to recommit," further stipulated.

The Rules Committee action means that during the first hour of debate on the House floor–members of Congress will discuss the closed rule–which restricts amendmen’s and changes to the Genocide resolution. If the rule is approved–then House members will proceed to a one hour debate on the Genocide bill–following which a vote will be taken.

The Armenian National Committee of America reported from Washington Thursday that the resolution is scheduled to be discussed on Tuesday–although earlier action on the matter is possible.

Prior to Wednesday’s decision by the Rules Committee–the resolution was approved by a vote of 24 to 11 by the House International Relations Committee on October 3.

In late August of this year–during a meeting with Rep. Jim Rogan (R-Calif.)–Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) pledged to bring the Armenian Genocide Resolution to a vote on the House floor. Congressman Rogan attended Tuesday’s meeting and has actively supported the resolution’s progress. The Armenian Genocide Resolution has been cosponsored by a bipartisan group of more than 140 Members.

The Armenian Genocide Resolution has been actively supported by a coalition of Armenian American organizations including the Apostolic Exarchate for Armenian Catholics; Armenian Assembly of America; Armenian Bar Association; Armenian Evangelical World Council; Armenian General Benevolent Union; Armenian Missionary Association of America; Armenian National Committee of America; Armenian Relief Society of North America; Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America – East; Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America – West; Knights of Vartan; Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America – East; Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America – West.

The Armenian-American community is applauded for its efforts to move the resolution forward–and it is being urged to continue these efforts until the resolution is debated and voted on by the entire US House of Representatives.

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