Over 60 House Members Urge Hastert To Schedule Genocide Bill Vote

Armenian National Committee of America
888 17th St., NW, Suite 904
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: (202) 775-1918
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PRESS RELEASE
March 12, 2004
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Tel: (202) 775-1918

OVER SIXTY HOUSE MEMBERS URGE SPEAKER HASTERT
TO SCHEDULE A VOTE ON THE GENOCIDE RESOLUTION

— Rep. Radanovich Leads Effort in Support of H.Res.193

WASHINGTON, DC – A bi-partisan group of over 60 House Members
called on Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), today, to bring the
Genocide Resolution – H.Res.193 – for a full floor vote, reported
the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

The letter, initiated by Rep. Radanovich (R-CA), stresses that, “As
we saw in Rwanda a decade ago, and as we witness today the signs of
a possible new genocide emerging around the world – as a government
and a people – we must make sure that we apply the lessons of past
genocide to prevent future crimes against humanity.”

The Genocide resolution was introduced in the House last April by
Representatives Radanovich, Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Congressional
Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg
(R-MI). It was adopted unanimously by the House Judiciary Committee
in May and has 111 cosponsors. Its companion legislation in the
Senate, S.Res.164, was introduced last June by Senators John Ensign
(R-NV) and Jon Corzine (D-NJ) and currently has 37 cosponsors.

The resolution cites the importance of remembering past crimes
against humanity, including the Armenian Genocide, Holocaust,
Cambodian and Rwandan genocides, in an effort to stop future
atrocities. Support for the measure has been widespread, with a
diverse coalition of over 100 ethnic, religious, civil and human
rights organizations calling for its passage, including American
Values, National Organization of Women, Sons of Italy, NAACP, Union
of Orthodox Rabbis, and the National Council of La Raza.

Joining Rep. Radanovich in cosigning the letter to Speaker Hastert
were Representatives: Tom Allen (D-ME), Rob Andrews (D-NJ), Tammy
Baldwin (D-WI), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Howard Berman (D-CA),
Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), Tim Bishop (D-NY), Sherrod Brown (D-OH),
Ken Calvert (R-CA), Michael Capuano (D-MA), Dennis Cardoza (D-CA),
John Conyers (D-MI), Jerry Costello (D-IL), Joseph Crowley (D-NY),
William Delahunt (D-MA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), John Dingell (D-MI),
Elliot Engel (D-NY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Chaka Fattah (D-PA),
Michael Ferguson (R-NJ), Bob Filner (D-CA), Barney Frank (D-MA),
Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Mark Green (R-WI), Jim Greenwood (R-PA), Raul
Grijalva (D-AZ), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY),
Rush Holt (D-NJ), Michael Honda (D-CA), Steve Israel (D-NY), Marcy
Kaptur (D-OH), Dale Kildee (D-MI), Jerry Kleczka (D-WI), Dennis
Kucinich (D-OH), James Langevin (D-RI), Jim Leach (R-IA), Barbara
Lee (D-CA), Sander Levin (D-MI), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Nita Lowey (D-
NY), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Edward Markey
(D-MA), James McGovern (D-MA), Michael McNulty (D-NY), Marty Meehan
(D-MA), Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA),
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Frank Pallone (D-
NJ), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Steven Rothman (D-NJ), Adam Schiff (D-
CA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Mark Souder (R-IN), John Sweeney (R-NY),
Edolphus Towns (D-NY), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).

The full text of the letter follows.

#####

=======================================TEXT OF LETTER TO SPEAKER DENNIS HASTERT
=======================================Mar ch 12, 2004

The Honorable Dennis J. Hastert
Speaker of the House
235 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Hastert:

We are writing to share with you our strong support for bringing H.
Res. 193 to the House floor for a vote as soon as possible.

This measure, as you know, commemorates the 15th anniversary of the
U.S. implementation of the Genocide Convention and reinforces our
nation’s dedication to this landmark human rights treaty. Approved
in the shadow of the Holocaust, the Convention stands today as the
international community’s best hope for the realization of the
noble aim of eradicating forever the crime of genocide. The House
Judiciary Committee, recognizing the importance of this effort,
adopted H. Res. 193 without opposition on May 21st. One hundred
and ten Representatives have cosponsored this measure, including
both the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee.

As we saw in Rwanda a decade ago, and as we witness today the signs
of a possible new genocide emerging around the world, as a
government and a people, we must make sure that we apply the
lessons of past genocide to prevent future crimes against humanity.
Sadly, even as we confront new genocides, we still have among us
those who, against all facts and morality, deny the Holocaust or
seek to rewrite the history of the past atrocities. These hateful
deniers dishonor the dead and threaten the living. They make the
world a more dangerous place by emboldening future potential
perpetrators of genocide to believe that their crimes can be
committed with impunity. Adolf Hitler confirmed this with his
chilling remark to his military staff prior to launching the
Holocaust, “who, after all remembers the annihilation of the
Armenians.”

Clearly, the struggle against genocide is not over. The pressing
need to remain ever vigilant was underscored recently by Samantha
Power, Pulitzer Prize winning author of ” A Problem from Hell:
American in the Age of Genocide.” Commenting on similar
legislation in the 107th Congress, she noted that, “For too long
American leaders and citizens have reflexively uttered the phrase
‘never again’ without taking concrete steps to give the slogan
meaning. This legislation marks the beginning of a twenty-first
century campaign to get the U.S. government to commit itself
politically and operationally to prevent future genocide.”

Recalling your support for H. Res. 596 in the 106th Congress and
knowing of your principled advocacy for human rights around the
world, we ask that you please move quickly to schedule a vote on H.
Res. 193. Thank you for your consideration of our request.

#####

www.anca.org

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