As anniversary hits, House hasn't passed resolution recognizing MAX victims, survivors

After a national tragedy, it's common for the federal government to take symbolic action to formally condemn hate or honor victims of violence.

President Trump, who initially made controversial comments after the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one woman dead, eventually signed a resolution condemning the violence and "domestic terrorist attack" in Virginia.

But as the one-year anniversary of the fatal stabbings on a MAX train arrives, a similar resolution hasn't budged in the House of Representatives.

Oregon Democrats in Congress say Republicans are standing in the way.

"This is a matter of honoring heroes who stood up in the face of hate and bigotry and rebuking white supremacy," Rep Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, said in an email. "It shouldn't be a question. The fact that House Republican leadership continues to block our resolution is absolutely shameful."

The U.S. Senate approved the resolution June 8, 2017, without amendments.

The resolution names Ricky Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, the two men killed on the light-rail train last year, and also cites Micah Fletcher, the then-Portland State University student who was wounded but survived.

The three men were coming to the defense of two young women who "were the targets of threatening anti-Muslim hate speech," the resolution reads.

The symbolic document references the "heroism and sacrifice" on that day "in the face of domestic terrorism."

Jeremy Christian, the man accused of the slayings, awaits a 2019 trial.

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River, one of the highest-ranking members of his party in the House of Representatives, did not respond to a request for comment.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden issued a statement criticizing Republicans for failing "for months on end" to bring the resolution to a vote.

"As people of good will everywhere prepare to mark the anniversary of this deadly attack on the MAX train, it's sadly telling that the resolution passing the Senate in June 2017 by unanimous consent remains shamelessly blocked in May 2018 by the majority running the House."

-- Andrew Theen

atheen@oregonian.com

503-294-4026

@andrewtheen