10/25 LATimes: Lawmakers delay push for House vote on Armenian genocide measure

Lawmakers delay push for House vote on Armenian genocide measure

By Richard Simon

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

11:37 AM PDT, October 25, 2007

WASHINGTON — Sponsors of a congressional resolution to recognize the
Armenian genocide said today that they would delay their drive to
bring the measure before the House for a vote, amid waning support for
the measure sparked by concerns that it could harm relations with
Turkey, a key U.S. ally.

The decision represents a swift reversal for the controversial
resolution, which only weeks ago appeared certain to pass the House.

The resolution's chief sponsors said in a letter today to House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) that they would still press for
passage of the long-debated measure.

"We believe that a large majority of our colleagues want to support a
resolution recognizing the genocide on the House floor and that they
will do so, provided the timing is more favorable," the sponsors,
Reps. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks), Anna
G. Eshoo (D-Menlo Park) and Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) said in the

Supporters of the resolution, recently approved by the House Foreign
Affairs Committee, once counted more than half the members of the
House as sponsors. But many representatives have since withdrawn
support, raising doubts about whether it would pass.

The resolution has been strongly opposed by the Bush administration,
which warned it could offend Turkey. After the committee vote, the
administration and Turkey, aided by high-paid, well-connected
lobbyists, stepped up their efforts to persuade the House to shelve
the measure, which calls on the president to "accurately characterize
the systematic and deliberate annihilation of 1,500,000 Armenians as

Turkey withdrew its ambassador in protest, and its top general said
House passage of the resolution would rupture U.S. relations with one
of its most reliable allies in the Islamic world. U.S. military
supplies for the war in Iraq pass through a critical air base in

At the same time, deadly cross-border raids by Kurdish rebels into
Turkey have inflamed public opinion in the country, which has accused
the U.S. and Iraq of not doing enough to prevent the attacks. The
Turkish parliament overwhelmingly granted the government permission to
invade northern Iraq to pursue Kurdish insurgents.

Kurdish rebels ambushed a Turkish army patrol Sunday, killing at least
12 soldiers and raising the possibility of a Turkish incursion, which
could destabilize the safest region in Iraq.

The resolution's sponsors said they would continue to work for
consideration of the measure "sometime later this year, or in 2008."


Source: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/valley/la-na-genocide26oct26,1,1437463.story?ctrack=3&cset=true