BURBANK—Members and supporters of the Armenian National Committee of America Western Region met with Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi this week during a fundraiser hosted in the City of Burbank, where they pressed the Speaker for a floor vote on House Resolution 252—the Armenian Genocide Resolution – and stressed that the House Democratic Leadership is expected to advance this important human rights legislation.
During the program, Speaker Pelosi offered remarks about the importance of having a statement of recognition of the Armenian Genocide and spoke forcefully about asserting American values. Pelosi stressed that geography should never undermine America’s best values.
The Speaker noted that many presidential candidates have proclaimed their commitment to properly acknowledging the Armenian Genocide but have withdrawn from their commitment upon taking office. She noted that in order to have any moral authority to talk about humanity and the genocides in Rwanda, Darfur or anywhere else, the United States must properly acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. She added that a failure to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide undermines the moral authority of the United States and hinders the ability of our nation to be a strong voice for what is right.
Speaker Pelosi has a consistent record of energetic and principled support for U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide, dating back nearly 20 years. Since her election to the House in 1986, she worked closely with the Bay Area Armenian National Committee. As U.S. House Minority Leader in 2006, she pledged to support Armenian Genocide legislation in the 110th session of Congress. Over the years, she has continuously countered arguments that cite Turkey’s strategic position as reason to oppose Armenian Genocide legislation. During this year’s Capitol Hill Armenian Genocide Observance, Speaker Pelosi called on her colleagues not to rest until the entire U.S. government properly recognizes this crime as genocide.
H.Res.252, introduced in March of 2009 by lead sponsors Adam Schiff (D-CA) and George Radanovich (R-CA), and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), currently has over 140 cosponsors. The Armenian Genocide resolution calls upon the President to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide.
H. Res. 252 passed the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee in March of 2010. The measure currently awaits a full vote on the House floor. The Armenian American community has urged House Speaker Pelosi and the Congressional Democratic Leadership to advance H. Res. 252.
The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.