WASHINGTON–With a vote of 27 to 21, the influential panel of the U.S. House of Representatives took a major step toward ending U.S. complicity in Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide, adopting H.Res.106, the Armenian Genocide Resolution, despite an intense campaign of threats and intimidation by the Turkish government and its lobbyists in Washington, reported the Armenian National Committee of America.
The Committee decision opens the way for full house consideration of the measure.
"The Foreign Affairs Committee’s adoption today of the Armenian Genocide Resolution represents a meaningful step toward reclaiming our right–as Americans–to speak openly and honestly about the first genocide of the 20th Century, free from the gag-rule that Turkey has, for far too long, sought to impose on our nation’s elected officials," said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. "As Americans, we must always remain free to speak openly about human rights and should never outsource our nation’s foreign policy–or our morality–to another nation."
Voting in support of the measure were Representatives Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Howard Berman (D-CA), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Jim Costa (D-CA), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), William Delahunt (D-MA), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Eni F. H. Faleomavaega (D-SM*), Elton Gallegly (R-CA), Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), Gene Green (D-TX), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Ron Klein (D-FL), Tom Lantos (D-CA), Donald Manzullo (R-IL), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Donald Payne (D-NJ), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Edward Royce (R-CA), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Diane Watson (D-CA), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), and David Wu (D-OR),
Voting against the measure Gresham Barrett (R-SC), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Dan Burton (R-IN), Russ Carnahan (D-MO), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Luis Fortuno (R-PR), Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX), Bob Inglis (R-SC), Connie Mack (R-FL), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Brad Miller (D-NC), Mike Pence (R-IN), Ted Poe (R-TX), Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), David Scott (D-GA), Adam Smith (D-WA), Thomas Tancredo (R-CO), John Tanner (D-TN), and Robert Wexler (D-FL). Representatives Ron Paul (R-TX) and Joe Wilson (R-SC) did not vote.
"We want to thank Chairman Lantos, who scheduled this measure for consideration by the Foreign Affairs Committee and voted for its passage, Adam Schiff and George Radanovich, the lead authors of this legislation, Brad Sherman and Ed Royce, who spearheaded the panel’s adoption of the legislation, Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone and Joe Knollenberg, who generated the broad-based bipartisan support for H.Res.106 and Armenian American Congresswoman Anna Eshoo – all of who have worked tirelessly as the resolution moves toward passage by the full House of Representatives."
Introduced on January 30th by Rep. Adam Schiff along with Representative George Radanovich (R-CA), Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), 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. The resolution is cosponsored by 226 Members of Congress from 39 states. A similar resolution in the Senate (S.Res.106), introduced by Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) currently has 32 cosponsors, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (D-NY).
Over the past nine months, Armenian Americans and human rights advocates have joined with Members of Congress in educating their colleagues about the Armenian Genocide and the importance of proper recognition of this crime against humanity. The ANCA has mounted several national grassroots initiatives including the highly successful "Click for Justice" and "Call for Justice" campaigns as well as the "End the Cycle of Genocide" Advocacy Days, cosponsored with the Genocide Intervention Network.