WASHINGTON–DC (ANCA)–Congressmen Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and George Radanovich (R-CA) were joined on Tuesday by forty-three of their US House colleagues in formally calling on the leadership of the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee to support pro-Armenian provisions in the fiscal year 2006 foreign aid bill.
The bipartisan expression of support–addressed to the panel’s Chairman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) and Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY)–strengthens the hand of pro-Armenian members of the Subcommittee–most notably Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Joe Knollenberg–Steve Rothman (D-NJ)–Mark Kirk (R-IL)–and John Sweeney (R-NY). Rep. Sweeney–who is a new addition to the panel this year–is one of only two Members of Congress of Armenian heritage. The letter specifically calls for setting an earmark of at least $75 million for Armenia; maintaining the President’s request for equal levels of Foreign Military Financing for Armenia and Azerbaijan at $5 million each; an additional $5 million in direct aid to Karabagh for fiscal year 2006; and keeping in place the Section 907 restriction on aid to Azerbaijan.
"We very much appreciate the leadership of Congressmen Radanovich and Pallone in urging the Foreign Operations Subcommittee to support provisions in the foreign aid bill of special importance to Armenian Americans," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "We also value the advocacy for pro-Armenian issues from within this panel by Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Joe Knollenberg–the leadership of Chairman Jim Kolbe and Ranking Democrat Nita Lowey–and the support of Steve Rothman–John Sweeney–Mark Kirk–Jesse Jackson–Jr.–Carolyn Kilpatrick–Chaka Fattah–and our other friends."
The names of the forty-five signatories include Gary L. Ackerman (D-NY)–Thomas H. Allen (D-ME)–Robert E. Andrews (D-NJ)–Xavier Beccerra (D-CA)–Howard L. Berman (D-CA)–Michael Bilirakis (R-FL)–Eric Cantor (R-VA)–Michael E. Capuano (D-CA)–Dennis A. Cardoza (D-CA)–John Conyers Jr. (D-MI)–Jim Costa (D-CA)–Jerry F. Costello (D-IL)–Joseph Crowley (D-NY)–David Dreier (R-CA)–Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA)–Barney Frank (D-MA)–Scott Garrett (R-NJ)–Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)–Rush D. Holt (D-NJ)–Michael M. Honda (D-CA)–Steve Israel (D-NY)–Darrell E. Issa (R-CA)–James R. Langevin (D-RI)–Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA)–Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY)–Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY)–James P. McGovern (D-MA)–Michael R. McNulty (D-NY)–Martin Meehan (D-MA)–Robert Menendez (D-NJ)–Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA)–Devin Nunes (R-CA)–Frank Pallone–Jr. (D-NJ)–Collin C. Peterson (D-MN)–Linda T. Sanchez (D-CA)–Adam B. Schiff (D-CA)–Joe Schwarz (R-MI)–Clay E. Shaw–Jr. (R-FL)–John Shimkus (R-IL)–Mark E. Souder (R-IN)–George Radanovich (R-CA)–Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH)–Diane E. Watson (D-CA)–Henry Waxman (D-CA)–and Jerry Weller (R-IL).