ForLoveOrMoney.Scheiber

ForLoveOrMoney.Scheiber - I z m Clinton playbook: feel the...

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I z m m •o 00 congressional leadership would pull something out ofthe old Clinton playbook: feel the Armenians' pain without promis- ing anything. But Hastert's commitment to afloorvote made that much harder. According to one former Republican rep- resentative, Armey and House Majority Whip Tom DeLay "were absolutely stunned that Hastert took this step." One Republican aide reports that Hastert's ovm staff "went into a complete panic." But, before Hastert could retract his promise, Armenians were already celebrating him as their newfound savior. Less than 24 hours after Hastert's appearance, news of his pledge was running on all three local Armenian-language TV stations, and it generated a barrage of attention in the Armenian print media. A quote by the chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America in the English- language Armenian daily Asbarez was typical: "[We] are extremely pleased v«th Speaker Hastert's promise . .. it is reassuring that the House leadership has committed itself to the mandate of bringing the genocide resolution to a suc- cessful vote." Naturally, none of this sat very well vnih the defense con- tractors and the oil companies—not to mention the Turk- ish government, which has signed up onetime speaker- designate Bob Livingston and former Rules Committee Chairman Gerald Solomon (each for a reported $700,000) to lobby against the measure. Not that Livingston and Solomon have had to lobby their old GOP colleagues too hard: With millions of dollars in future campaign contributions at stake, few Republicans are eager to fall on their swords for a single colleague, even if control ofthe House hangs in the balance. So the new strategy appears to be to bring the bill to the fioor, but in a form that will doom it to failure (such as mak- ing it a "suspension vote," which would require a two-thirds majority for passage). Along with a healthy dose of spin, such a move would at once fulfill Hastert's promise and allow Rogan to claim victory in defeat. Indeed, the spin has already begun. As DeLay's deputy chief of staff, Tony Rudy, pro- claims, "It's a Herculean effort by Rogan just to get a vote. .. he can't control the way members [with] parochial concerns vote on this." Chimes in Rogan's campaign manager, Jason Roe: "The biggest struggle is just to get a vote." A LAS, ROGAN MAY not get even that. At last week's International Relations Committee markup of the genocide measure, which Liv- ingston and Solomon attended, the bill's opponents (among them Republican Repre- sentatives Doug Bereuter and Dan Burton and Democrat Tom Lantos) argued against the legislation for four hours— until the committee decided to postpone the vote. The bill did subsequently pass the committee. But with the October recess approaching—and Hastert, already burned once,
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ForLoveOrMoney.Scheiber - I z m Clinton playbook: feel the...

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