Washington–Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), co-chairmen of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues; Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and George Radanovich (R-CA), lead sponsors of the Armenian Genocide Resolution; Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Ed Royce (R-CA), senior members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Anna Eshoo (D-CA), a co-sponsor of the resolution and the only Armenian-American Member of Congress, praised on Thursday the House Committee on Foreign Affairs passage of the Armenian Genocide Recognition Resolution. Both Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer have voiced support for the resolution.
"Today’s Committee passage clears a major hurdle in moving this resolution forward, and I hope it will move swiftly to the House floor for a vote," Schiff said. "America must speak candidly about the past, not only to help heal the wounds of the survivors and the families of the victims, but to give the United States the moral authority it needs to take action against other genocides like that taking place today in Darfur."
"By passing this resolution today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee has taken an important step toward putting this House on record affirming the Armenian Genocide," Pallone said. "I am confident that the Resolution will now move swiftly to the House floor and will be passed with overwhelming support. It is long past time for the U.S. government to properly recognize historical fact. By recognizing these horrific crimes as genocide, we once again renew our commitment to prevent such atrocities from occurring again."
"Today’s Committee passage of the Armenian Genocide resolution is a considerable step towards approval by the full House," said Radanovich. "America has a moral obligation to recognize genocide when it occurs and it is my hope that the ultimate passage of this resolution will help Turkey come to terms with its past and begin the healing process."
"With the Committee’s approval of the resolution, we are one step closer to acknowledging the truth," said Knollwnberg, adding "today is a monumental day for the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and all Armenia’s around the world."We must accept and learn from the facts of history to prevent them from ever happening again. I hope the Armenian Genocide resolution will be considered by the full House expeditiously so every member can take a stand against genocide," he said.
"The passage of House Resolution 106 affirms what history has shown to be true," said Sherman. "When Hitler had to convince his cohorts that the world would let them get away with it, he turned to them and said, ‘Who today speaks of the annihilation of the Armenia’s?’ Genocide is the last act of denial and the beginning of the next genocide. For if we hope to stop future genocides we need to admit to those horrific acts of the past."
"Passing this Resolution is a great victory for Armenia and Armenian-Americans, who have worked so hard to move this resolution," stated Royce. "I’ve worked on this issue since I was a State-Senator in California, where I helped carry a resolution recognizing the genocide, the first such by any state. In Congress, I have worked hard on this issue since I was first elected in 1993. Today is the culmination of our efforts and is indeed a great accomplishment."
"By approving the Armenian Genocide Resolution, the House Foreign Affairs Committee embraced the responsibility to properly acknowledge as genocide the tragic deaths of 1.5 million Armenian women, children and men," said Eshoo. "This is an important step toward appropriately recognizing the Armenian Genocide, just as we recognize the genocide in Darfur and those against Ukrainians, Cambodians, Bosnians, and Rwandans. I urge the House to approve this resolution as soon as possible."
The lawmakers noted that the resolution currently has 226 co-sponsors, more than the 218 needed to have the support of a majority of the 435 Members of the House. This amount of support makes it possible to pass the bill on the House floor, which is the next step after passage in Committee. In September 2005, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs voted by an overwhelming margin of 40-7 to pass an Armenian Genocide Resolution with the same language as the current Resolution, H. Res. 106.
The Armenian Genocide Recognition Resolution, which was introduced in Congress last January, calls on the President and the U.S. Government to properly recognize the atrocities that occurred in Armenia beginning in 1915, which resulted in 1.5 million deaths and countless victims of torture, as genocide.