WASHINGTON – For the third time, Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) on December 5 took the floor seeking unanimous consent of his colleagues to affirm the Armenian Genocide S. 150 resolution. And once again the voting was been blocked by one senator, this time by Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.).
“For those here in the Senate who would consider objecting to this request I urge you to think long and hard about what that means for your reputation,” Menendez said in his opening remarks. Menendez meant the possible negative outreach in American and international media about the previous legislators who had prevented the affirmation of the same resolution in November. When Lindsay Graham vetoed the S. Res on November 13, the Los Angeles Times, New York Post, National Review, British Independent and Israel’s Jerusalem Post, not to mention Armenian media, reported criticially. Newsweek’s reporter quoted author Amy Siskind saying “What is wrong with this man?” and cited Armenian-American writer Chris Bohjalian’s condemnation of Graham: “You have no moral compass and put Turkey before the United States.”
Today Kevin Cramer objected to the voting, referring to President Trump’s meeting with Turkey’s Erdogan on sidelines of NATO summit in London. “This was a topic of discussion with leadership of Turkey. ‘This’ means the acknowledgment of Genocide as well as the purchase of S-400” missiles, Cramer stated.
Noteworthy is that Cramer in his statement clearly referred to the events of 1915 as genocide and accepted that the U.S. Senate at some point may confirm the resolution. Yet now, according to his judgement, would not be the right time.
Menendez expressed his deep disappointment with Cramer’s decision and vowed to bring the resolution back every week until it is confirmed.
The video link based on C-Span’s broadcast includes excerpts from the Senate’s Thursday, December 5, hearings.