(l-r): Anthony Barsamian, Assembly co-chair, Congressman David G. Valadao, Armenian Caucus co-chair, Mariam Khaloyan, Assembly Congressional Relations Director and Bryan Ardouny, Assembly Executive Director, met in Washington D.C. in February 2018 to discuss priority issues of concern to Armenian Americans.
Washington, D.C. – In resuming his role as co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues (Armenian Caucus), Representative David G. Valadao (R-CA) told the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) that the safety and security of the Armenian people is a top priority.
“In the aftermath of the six-week war launched by Azerbaijan against the Armenian people, addressing the humanitarian needs as well as ensuring the safety and security of the Armenian people is an issue on the minds of many of my Armenian American constituents,” said Rep. Valadao, in an exclusive statement to the Assembly. “I look forward to continuing my role as co-chair and working with the Armenian American community on these critically important issues.”
Over the past decade, Rep. Valadao has advocated for stronger ties between the U.S. and Armenia and the U.S. and Artsakh. Born and raised in California’s Central Valley, Congressman Valadao learned about the Armenian people early on, as many of his neighbors and friends were of Armenian descent.
“Representing his constituents in the San Joaquin Valley, Representative Valadao has been a steadfast proponent of strengthening U.S.-Armenia and U.S.-Artsakh relations,” stated Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. “During his tenure in Congress, he led efforts in the House to ensure continued U.S. assistance for de-mining in Artsakh, strongly supported affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, and repeatedly spoke out against Azerbaijani aggression, including the four-day war in 2016 as well as last year’s six-week war backed by Turkey. We appreciate Congressman Valadao’s dedication and leadership as a co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, where he re-joins his fellow Caucus leaders Congressman Pallone, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Congressman Adam Schiff and Congressman Gus Bilirakis.”
Congressman Valadao, who represents California’s 21st Congressional district, has served in government since 2010, where he has taken a special interest in Armenian American issues. He traveled to Armenia and Artsakh, alongside fellow Armenian Caucus members, in September 2017 and reflected positively on the “unforgettable experience.” While there, Congressman Valadao observed first-hand the challenges facing both Armenia and Artsakh and advocated for change upon his return to the U.S., including through the introduction of an amendment to increase funding for The HALO Trust’s de-mining efforts.
The Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues was established in 1995 to bring together a bipartisan group of legislators dedicated to advancing U.S.-Armenia relations. Over the decades, the Armenian Caucus has worked to ensure U.S. affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, robust funding for Armenia and humanitarian assistance, including de-mining to help the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, among other key issues. The Armenian Caucus currently has 108 members.
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.