Senior Congressional leaders serving on key foreign policy and appropriations panels have lent their support to a groundbreaking human rights measure that seeks improved Armenian-Turkish ties based upon Turkey’s acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide and a just international resolution of this still unpunished crime, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
Among the top House Committee leaders supporting H.Res.227, the Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice Resolution, are Representatives Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee; Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), the chairman of the Financial Markets Subcommittee on Capital Markets; Rush Holt (D-N.J.), the ranking member of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy; Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the ranking member on the Appropriations Committee; Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power; Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade; Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill.), the chief deputy whip; Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), the vice ranking member on the Budget Committee; Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), the ranking member on the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism; John Tierney (D-Mass.), the ranking member of the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security; Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the ranking member on the Budget Committee; and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.Introduced and spearheaded by Congressmen David Valadao (R-Calif.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) in May of this year, the Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice Resolution reflects and reinforces previous U.S. affirmation of the Armenian Genocide as a crime of genocide, citing the U.S. government’s May 28, 1951 written statement to the International Court of Justice regarding the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide; President Ronald Reagan’s April 22, 1981 Proclamation; and Congressional adoption of Armenian Genocide legislation in 1975 and 1984.
H.Res.227 builds on the record of past U.S. executive and legislative branch affirmation of this crime, and calls on “the president to work toward equitable, constructive, stable, and durable Armenian-Turkish relations based upon the Republic of Turkey’s full acknowledgment of the facts and ongoing consequences of the Armenian Genocide, and a fair, just, and comprehensive international resolution of this crime against humanity.”
ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian discussed the very real, modern-day consequences of Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide—and international community inaction in the face of that denial. “Turkey’s obstruction of justice has, over the course of nearly a century, allowed Ankara to consolidate its hold on the genocidal gains of its crimes against the Armenian people, blocking the return to the Armenian nation of key elements—indispensable elements—of viability that long sustained the Armenian people on their ancient homeland,” he explained. “This denial poisons Armenian-Turkish relations, fosters wave after wave of anti-Armenian intolerance within Turkey, threatens Armenia’s and Artsakh’s security, and, of course, fuels regional tensions.”
Prominent supporters of this bipartisan measure also include the two Members of Congress of Armenian heritage, Congresswomen Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements, as well as Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), the ranking member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, and Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), the co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, and Representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.) , David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), Janice Hahn (D-Calif.), James Langevin (D-R.I.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), John Sarbanes (D-Md.), and Dina Titus (D-Nev.).