Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) recently cosponsored S.Res. 410, the Armenian Genocide resolution, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly). In addition to Levin and Bennet, S.Res. 410, which passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 10th, has the support of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Select Committee on Intelligence Chairwoman Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Select Committee on Ethics Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
S.Res. 410 was introduced on April 3rd by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a long-time champion of Armenian issues and powerful voice for justice, along with Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), who previously served as Co-Chair of the Armenian Caucus during his tenure in the House of Representatives.
Chairman Levin and Senator Bennet have strong records in support of Armenian American issues, particularly US reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide. Levin, who is retiring this fall, has cosponsored successive Armenian Genocide resolutions throughout his 36-year tenure. Senator Bennet has also cosponsored previous Armenian Genocide resolutions since his arrival to the Senate in 2009.
“We stand with the Armenian people in remembrance of the genocide that took place nearly a century ago in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire,” Senator Bennet told the Assembly. “The catastrophic loss of life, systematic killing, and displacement of innocent civilians was dreadful and unthinkable. We also reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that such a tragedy will never happen again,” Bennet said.
Michigan and Colorado are two of 43 US states to have recognized the Armenian Genocide and both have substantial records affirming this historical truth. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D) signed a proclamation recognizing the Armenian Genocide in 2011, while the Colorado legislature passed SJR 14-032, a bill marking the “Colorado day of remembrance of the Armenian Genocide” on April 24, 2014. Former Michigan Governor James Blanchard proclaimed “Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day” in 1990, while the state’s legislature adopted a resolution in 2002 that annually marks April 24th as Michigan’s “days of remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.”
Having passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, S.Res.410 now awaits a vote on the Senate floor. “We urge the Senate to act and adopt this important human rights legislation,” stated Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny.