Armenian genocide vote is in peril

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The loss of support is a major setback to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill, who have fiercely defended the resolution to Republicans and the Bush administration as a moral imperative in condemning the World War I-era killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks. President Bush called Pelosi on Tuesday to ask her not to call for a House vote on the resolution. “The president and the speaker exchanged candid views on the subject and the speaker explained the strong bipartisan support in the House for the resolution,” Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami said. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters Tuesday that the plan remained to vote on the measure before Congress adjourns by the end of the year. But, he added, “there are a number of people who are revisiting their own positions and we’ll have to determine where everyone is,” he said. POLITICS: Some Democrats drop support over concern about Turkey’s reaction. By Anne Flaherty THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON – A House vote to label the century-old deaths of Armenians as genocide was in jeopardy Tuesday after several Democrats withdrew their support and sounded alarms it could cripple U.S. relations with Turkey. The most notable Democratic challenge mounted this week came from Rep. John Murtha, an anti-war ally of Pelosi, D-Calif., and chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Murtha fought against a similar measure 20 years ago. “From my discussions with our military commanders and foreign policy experts, I believe that this resolution could harm our relations with Turkey and therefore our strategic interests in the region,” Murtha, D-Pa., said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. Also this week, at least six Democrats withdrew their sponsorship of the bill and two other Democrats, Reps. Alcee Hastings of Florida and John Tanner of Tennessee, asked Pelosi to forgo the vote. Hastings, who has voted against combat funding for Iraq, and Tanner, a member of a conservative Democratic coalition known as the Blue Dogs, said they feared backlash from Turkey would cut off U.S. access to a critical air base.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more