Category: Archive

Korea bill stalled by summer

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Ray O’Hanlon

Summer has put paid for the time being to passage of a bill in Congress designed to honor Irish nationals who died in the Korean War.

The House of Representatives went into summer recess in the early hours of Saturday morning without voting on the bill, H.R. 2623, or the Posthumous Citizenship Restoration Act of 2001.

The bill would grant posthumous U.S. citizenship to the almost 30Irishmen who died in the 1950-53 Korea conflict while serving in the U.S. armed forces.

However, the bill, which is before the House Judiciary Committee, does now have 74 co-sponsors, a number that indicates a good chance that the it might come up for approval on the House suspension calendar when the 107th Congress resumes for its final two months of deliberations in early September.

The suspension calendar is designed to secure passage for bills that are deemed non-controversial.

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The primary sponsors of H.R. 2623, which was introduced in the House in July of last year, are Reps. Martin Meehan, Jim McGovern and Barney Frank, all from Massachusetts.

The U.S. Senate is considering a companion bill to 2623. The bill, S. 1859, was drawn up by Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and is co-sponsored by Sen. Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island and Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York.

Both bills, in addition to attracting bipartisan support in Congress, have also drawn pledges of support from Irish-American groups including the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Recently elected AOH president Ned Mcginley said that he would follow the example of his predecessor, Tom Gilligan, in actively backing passage of both bills.

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