WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Republican Caucus nominated Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) to be the 54th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. According to Capitol Hill sources, the House is expected to confirm him on Thursday. The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) congratulates incoming Speaker Ryan on his new leadership role and looks forward to working with him in the months and years to come.
Ryan began his political career as a congressional intern after college, went on to work as an aide for then-U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), and later as a speech writer for 1996 Republican Vice Presidential nominee Jack Kemp. In 1998, Ryan was elected to his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Ryan, known as a policy and budget wonk, has ascended through the House Republican leadership, assuming the Chairmanship of the Budget Committee in 2011, and most recently as the Chairman of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee. Ryan received national attention when he was tapped by Governor Mitt Romney to be the Republican Vice Presidential nominee in 2012.
Speaker-designate Ryan has a strong record in support of Armenia, Armenian American issues including genocide affirmation, and the safety and security of the people of Nagorno Karbakh. Paul Ryan represents the 1st district of Wisconsin, which is home to St. Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church, in Racine.
Below is a listing of his record on Armenian American issues:
Cosponsored Armenian Genocide Resolutions:
- H.Res.398 – United States Training on and Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Resolution, 106th Congress (1999-2000);
- H.Res.316 – Affirmation of the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, 109th Congress (2005-2006);
- H.Res.106 – Affirmation of the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, 110th Congress (2007-2008);
- H.Res.252 – Affirmation of the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, 111th Congress (2009-2010);
- H.Res.304 – Affirmation of the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, 112th Congress (2011-2012).
Cosponsored Other Legislation:
- H.Res.193 – Reaffirming support of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and anticipating the 15th anniversary of the enactment of the Genocide Convention Implementation Act of 1987 (the Proxmire Act) on November 4, 2003, 108th Congress (2003-2004);
- H.R.528 – To authorize the extension of nondiscriminatory treatment (normal trade relations treatment) to the products of Armenia, 108th Congress (2003-2004);
- H.Res.102 – Condemning the assassination of human rights advocate and outspoken defender of freedom of the press, Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink on January 19, 2007, 110th Congress (2007-2008).
- Letter to President George W. Bush to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, 107th Congress (2001);
- Letter to President George W. Bush to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, 107th Congress (2002);
- Letter to President George W. Bush to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, 108th Congress (2004);
- Letter to President George W. Bush to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, 109th Congress (2005);
- Letter to President George W. Bush to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, 109th Congress (2006);
- Letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to hold Azerbaijan accountable for vitriolic comments made by Azeri President Ilham Aliyev regarding the Nagorno Karabakh Conflict, 110th Congress, (February 15, 2008).
“By properly recognizing the atrocities committed against the Armenian people as ‘genocide’ in your statement, you will honor the many Americans who helped launch our first international human rights campaign to end the carnage and protect the survivors. The official U.S. response mirrored the overwhelming reaction by the American public to this crime against humanity, and as such, constitutes a proud, irrefutable and groundbreaking chapter in U.S. diplomatic history,” reads the 2004 letter to President Bush signed by Ryan.
Incoming Speaker Ryan also signed a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on February 15, 2008 urging the U.S. “to hold the government of Azerbaijan accountable for recent vitriolic comments made by Azeri President Ilham Aliyev in regard to the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh,” and to “condemn these comments that go directly against the United States stated policy in the South Caucus region.”
Given his years of work with the Armenian Assembly of America, and decade-long record in support of Armenian American issues, Ryan agreed to serve as the co-master of ceremonies of the Assembly’s 2009 National Advocacy Conference & Banquet in Washington, D.C.
“At a time when Azerbaijan continues to violate international law, and Turkey’s international campaign of genocide denial continues, we look forward to the opportunity to work with the incoming Speaker to address these and other critically important issues,” stated Armenian Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny.
Photo Caption: Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) Speaking at the Armenian Assembly of America 2009 National Advocacy Conference and Banquet in Washington, D.C. (Photograph copyright Armenian Assembly of America)