WASHINGTON–DC (ANCA)–Support continued to grow for Armenian issues on Capitol Hill this week as Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Ted Strickland (D-OH) announced their membership in the Congressional Armenian Caucus. The latest additions bring the Caucus to over 140 members.
"We are gratified that Representatives Strickland and Matsui have joined the Congressional Caucus and look forward to continuing to work closely with the body to further increase its membership and promote Armenian American community concerns," stated Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director–Aram Hamparian.
Rep. Strickland joined 98 of his Congressional colleagues this week in cosponsoring the Armenian Genocide resolution (H.Res.316)–lead by Representatives George Radanovich (R-CA)–Adam Schiff (D-CA)–and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ). In 1997–soon after his first election to office–Rep. Strickland voted in support of the Radanovich-Pallone amendment–which maintained US restrictions on aid to Azerbaijan until it lifts its blockades of Armenia and Mountainous Karabagh. The six-term congressman’serves on the powerful House Energy and Commerce as well as the Veterans’ Affairs committee. A native of Lucasville–Ohio–Rep. Strickland received a Ph.D in Counseling and Psychology and served as a minister–a psychologist–and a college professor prior to his election to the House of Representatives.
"I am happy to be part of a group that supports a free and independent Armenia," said Rep. Strickland. "It is important for Members of Congress to recognize the tragic history of the Armenian people–and work toward a future which allows for a secure–sovereign nation for all Armenia’s."
Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) is a first term congresswoman representing the Sacramento area. She succeeded her husband–Rep. Robert Matsui–who had been a long-time supporter of Armenian American concerns and a member of the Armenian Caucus. Rep. Robert Matsui tragically lost his battle against a form of bone marrow cancer in January–2005. Within months of her election to office–Rep. Doris Matsui began active support of Armenian American concerns–cosigning the Congressional letter to President Bush urging him to properly characterize the Armenian Genocide as ‘genocide.’ She is also a cosponsor of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.316).
"I am pleased to join the Armenian Caucus and look forward to working with the Caucus on a range of political and educational activities," noted Rep. Matsui.