Following last week's unanimous vote by the Senate in support of political reform in Egypt, a group of House Democrats are calling on Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to follow suit and pass an emergency resolution on Egypt.
"In view of the tragic violence unfolding in Egypt, we write to request that the House take up an emergency resolution in support of the Egyptian people and their struggle for freedom and democracy as soon as possible upon returning to session," wrote Reps. Jim Moran (D-Va.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Mike Honda (D-Calif.), Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) and Keith Ellison (DFL-Minn.) in a Feb. 7 letter to Boehner.
The lawmakers said the resolution should call on the Egyptian government to halt the violence, stop blocking communications inside Egypt (which the regime already largely did last week), and call on the military to intercede on behalf of the civilians.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's regime has "exhausted its credibility," the lawmakers wrote, but stopped short of calling on Mubarak to step down immediately. Our sources report that the letter was crafted so as to have the best chance to build widespread bipartisan support, in the hope of moving ahead with House action at the soonest opportunity.
"This is a new day not only for Egypt and the Middle East, but for democracy worldwide," the lawmakers wrote. "The House of Representatives has an opportunity to show its support for the Egyptian people during their time of need and further their efforts to achieve freedom by passing the aforementioned resolution."
Boehner supported the Obama administration's handling of the crisis in his most recent remarks about Egypt on Feb. 4. However, he also warned about empowering some groups that are part of the opposition, such as the Muslim Brotherhood. "What we don't want are radical ideologies to take control of a very large and important country in the Middle East," he said.
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