Armenian Assembly of America Urges a YES vote on H.Res. 296, Boosts Support and More Co-Sponsors
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Armenian Genocide resolution, H.Res.296, continues to gain momentum in the U.S. House of Representatives with five new co-sponsors added yesterday, and is now scheduled for a floor vote next week, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly). The House Committee on Rules will be meeting on Monday, October 28th at 5:00 pm regarding H.Res.296.
“The Armenian Assembly of America greatly appreciates the efforts of Armenian Caucus leadership and welcomes the decision to bring H.Res.296 to the House floor. This bipartisan resolution affirms the Armenian Genocide and America’s unprecedented humanitarian relief to help save the survivors of the first genocide of the twentieth century,” stated Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. “We urge all Members to support this important human rights measure and send a strong message that the days of genocide denial are over.”
Earlier today, Armenian Caucus leaders, including Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), Rep. Peter King (R-NY), and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) issued a statement in support of the floor vote affirming the United States record on the Genocide.
“As the leadership of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, we are very pleased that H.Res. 296, a resolution recognizing and memorializing the Armenian Genocide, will receive a vote next week by the full House. The genocide, which lasted from 1915 to 1923 and killed 1.5 million Armenians as well as many other religious and ethnic minorities, was recorded in real time by American diplomats and is supported by historical records,” the Armenian Caucus leaders stated.
“Too many Americans are unaware of the first genocide of the 20th century, as well as the massive humanitarian response led by the United States which saved countless lives. At a time when Turkey has launched a campaign into Northern Syria, which has killed hundreds and displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians, it is all the more important that the House speak clearly and directly about crimes against humanity, whether they occurred a century ago or in the present day. Next week, all Members of the House can go on record to state clearly the historic fact of the genocide, joining 49 U.S. states and many of our closest allies that have already taken this important step,” they concluded.
Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), stated today: “I’m proud that the Rules Committee will be considering this resolution next week. Not acknowledging the genocide is a stain on our human rights record and sends the exact wrong message to human rights abusers around the world.”
Thanks in part to an overwhelming number of advocates who participated in the Armenian Assembly of America’s recent action alert, Representatives Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA), and Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) co-sponsored H.Res.296.
Yesterday, during a hearing on Turkey’s invasion of Syria before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) pointed out that Turkey’s action “reminds me of the hatred they had for the Armenians that led to the Armenian Genocide.”
At the same hearing, Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) stated “there is a history in Turkey of doing cleansing, especially with the Armenians, so I am concerned that maybe not now because the world’s eyes are all over him [Erdogan], but sooner or later he is going to start his cleansing.”
“When I came here 23 years ago, one of the things I thought was morally incumbent on Congress was to recognize the first genocide of the 20th century – the Armenian Genocide,” Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) said. “The historical facts are clear. We chose not to recognize them because many thought that Turkey would behave well if we didn’t. How’s that working out?”
“Turkey’s recent transgressions remind us of another injustice that must be rectified. The Armenian Genocide has yet to be recognized by the United States or Turkey. I urged my colleagues to support H.Res.296 – to establish permanent recognition and remembrance of the Armenian Genocide. The San Joaquin Valley is home to many survivors and their descendants, and while the horrors of the Armenian Genocide can never be undone, we can ensure that future generations never forget,” said Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), who gave a speech yesterday on the House floor.
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.