Coalition for HR 5680 says "big trouble in the House"

Ethiopian Americans in Washington, DC protest against the widespread human rights violations in Ethiopia
The Coalition for H.R. 5680 is informing all Ethiopians in the United States that H.R. 5680 (Ethiopia Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights Advancement Act) is stuck in the U.S. House of Representatives. Intervention of the House Speaker is urgently needed to move the bill to the House floor for a final vote.

The House International Relations Committee passed the bill on June 27, 2006. The bill has shown no movement in the House since that Committee took action.

Professor Al Mariam, who has written extensively on H. R. 5680, was asked to comment on this development for this press release. He stated: ďI am not surprised. I guess Dick Armey (the Ethiopian Government lobbyist at DLA Piper), has earned his fee. Dick was the former Republican majority leader, and the right hand man of Speaker Hastert. I can imagine that he whispered in the Speakerís ear that H.R.5680 would hurt U.S. anti-terrorism efforts in the Horn of Africa, Mr. Zenawi is really a good guy, and all of the other bogus reasons I have identified in my previous writings.Ē

The Coalition believes the bill has been delayed form reaching the House floor either because of Speakerís Hastertís opposition, or active lack of support for it.

Asked whether H.R.5680 was dead in the House for this year, Prof. Alemayehu stated: ďNot by a long shot. We can still make it happen, but now we have to present our case to Speaker Hastert. I urge all Ethiopian Americans in the United States who support H.R. 5680 to contact the Speakerís office by telephone, fax, email, or in person if possible and make the case to the Speaker that H.R. 5680 is about human rights and democracy and getting political prisoners released. Every one needs to call the Speakerís office as many times as necessary to get the message across. I make a special plea to Ethiopians who live in Illinois, and those in the 14th congressional district in Illinois (Hastertís district), to contact Speaker Hastertís office and make the case for H.R. 5680. Realistically have less than four weeks to move this bill. It is now or never.Ē

Because of the time pressures created by the midterm elections, the Coalition urges H.R. 5680 supporters throughout the United States to contact their individual members of Congress, Republican and Democrats, immediately and without delay, and respectfully ask them to send letters and make calls to Speaker Hastert so that he will allow H.R. 5680 to come to the House floor for a vote.

Requests to Speaker Hastert to allow H.R. 5680 to proceed to the floor for a vote should be made immediately and without delay.

Sample letter/email to Speaker Hastert is posted at the Coalitionís website at:

Speaker Dennis Hastertís office may be contacted at the following addresses:
Representative J. Dennis Hastert
Republican - ILLINOIS, 14TH Congressional District

Chief of Staff: Scott Palmer
Scheduler: Helen Morrell
Legislative Director: Anthony Reed
Press Secretary: Ron Bonjean

District of Columbia (Congress) Office
Speaker Dennis Hastert
235 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-2976
Fax: 202-225-0697

Batavia District Office
27 North River Street
Batavia, IL 60510
Phone: 630-406-1114
Fax: 630-406-1808

Dixon Regional Office
119 W. First Street
Dixon, IL 61021
Phone: 815-288-0680
Fax: 815-288-0743
Office Hours
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
9 AM Ė 4 PM

Geneseo Regional Office
137 South State Street, Suite 336
Geneseo, IL 61254
Phone: 309-944-3558
Office Hours
9 AM Ė 3 PM

Coalition membership information and other inquiries may be directed to