A handful of House Democrats will split with their leadership today to call for an expected vote on the Armenian genocide resolution to be tanked, arguing the measure could hurt military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. [IMGCAP(1)]
“Thirty-percent of our material goes through Turkey. … It jeopardizes our effort in Iraq,” said Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense Chairman John Murtha (D-Pa.), who acknowledged that he is working against the bill. “We’re counting votes. It’s getting closer.”
The decision pits Murtha against his usual ally, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has backed the measure along with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). House Republicans and the Bush administration have criticized it.
In a letter to House leaders, Reps. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) and John Tanner (D-Tenn.) asserted the measure would negatively affect relations with Turkey. Reps. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) and Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) also are expected to call for the bill to be sidelined at a press conference with Hastings, Tanner and Murtha today.
Hoyer said Tuesday that he expects the resolution will be brought to the floor before Congress adjourns for the year, even as he acknowledged the new opposition.
“I said I thought we would bring this up prior to us leaving here. I have not changed on that, although I would be less than candid to say that there are a number of people who are revisiting their own positions,” Hoyer said.
Hoyer also disputed suggestions that the measure is intended as a backdoor effort to draw down the Iraq War. “Zero truth in that. Zero, zero,” Hoyer said.
FEC You in Court. The Federal Election Commission on Tuesday appealed a judge’s decision forcing the agency to rein in coordinated ad buys between candidates and political committees.
The suit, originally brought by Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) and former Rep. Marty Meehan (D-Mass.), ended last month when a district court judge ordered the FEC to be more precise in its rules involving coordinated television and radio purchases, voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives.
Campaign reform advocates have long argued that the agency’s interpretation of these portions of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 are unclear.
— Jennifer Yachnin and Matthew Murray