Gephardt Pledges to Bring Genocide Resolution to A Vote

* Dick Gephardt praises Adam Schiff’s role in advocating for passage of H.Res.596; commits to Scheduling floor Vote if Democrats regain House majority.

FALLS CHURCH–Va.–House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) has pledged to the Armenian American Democratic Leadership Council that–after the Democrats regain their majority in the House–he and his colleagues in the Democratic leadership will ensure that the Armenian Genocide resolution is brought to a final vote.

Congressman Gephardt–in discussions with the leadership of the AADLC–noted that–in sharp contrast to the recent actions by the Republican leadership–he would provide an opportunity for members to consider legislation on the Armenian Genocide. He specifically criticized the unfair actions by House Speaker Dennis Hastert and the Republican leadership to withdraw the Armenian Genocide resolution (H.Res.596) on October 19th–only momen’s before it was to come before the House for a final vote.

"In killing the resolution–Speaker Hastert brought a disappointing–but not very surprising – end to six straight years of escalating opposition to Armenian American issues by the House Republican leadership," said AADLC spokesperson Roudrik Ebrahim. "Our best hope–as Armenian Americans–is to replace the anti-Armenian troika of Hastert–Armey and Delay–who so brazenly betrayed our community–with proven friends like Dick Gephardt and David Bonior. We are fortunate–because of the large Armenian American community in southern California to be in a perfect position to make this happen by electing State Senator Adam Schiff over Jim Rogan in the 27th Congressional District."

During the long fight for the passage of H.Res.596–Democratic Leader Gephardt and Democratic Whip David Bonior (D-Mich.) spoke out forcefully for the passage of the resolution–repeatedly calling upon the Republican leadership to end their repeated delays in bringing the resolution to the House floor. He specifically criticized the continued denial of the Armenian Genocide and pledged that a Democratic Congress would set the historical record straight on this crime against humanity. He cited Adam Schiff as a proven leader who–when elected–would be an integral part of the successful effort to bring Armenian Genocide resolution to a vote.

Although the Democrats are currently a minority in the House–they represented close to two thirds of the cosponsors of the Armenian Genocide resolution and a majority of those who voted for the measure in the International Relations Committee.

In the Los Angeles Times and the Glendale News-Press–Rogan has said that he agreed with the Speaker’s decision to withdraw the resolution from consideration. Commenting on Rogan’s position–the AADLC has said that it regrets that "Jim Rogan has sided with the Republican leadership against our community and our efforts to honor the memory of our martyrs. It is simply shameful for a Congressman from Glendale–California to accept – even support–a Turkish government ‘gag rule’ on Congressional discussion of the Armenian Genocide."

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