WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) praised the bipartisan effort of sixty-four Members of Congress who joined Congressmen George Radanovich (R-CA), Adam Schiff (R-CA), and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) in sending a letter to House of Representatives Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) in support of a resolution acknowledging the Armenian Genocide (H.Res. 193) and calling on the leadership of the House to maintain the “Schiff Amendment” which unanimously passed in the House of Representatives by a voice vote on July 15, 2004. “Next year will mark the 90th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian Genocide,” Congressman Schiff said, “and it would be a noble and fitting gesture for this nation to recognize the deaths of 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children, while some of the survivors still remain.”
Among the signatories to the letter were Representatives Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Shelley Berkley (D-NV), Howard Berman (D-CA), Lois Capps (D-CA), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Bob Filner (D-CA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Nick Lampson (D-TX), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Devin Nunes (R-CA), George Radanovich (R-CA), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Diane Watson (D-CA), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), and Anna Eshoo (D-CA). Congresswoman Eshoo, who will be honored at the upcoming ANCA-WR 2004 Banquet on October 24 in Pasadena, CA, also joined her fellow Congressman of Armenian descent, Rep. John E. Sweeney (R-NY), in issuing a separate letter to Congressional colleagues urging them to co-sign the letter to Speaker Hastert. Thousands of Armenian Americans from across the United States utilized the ANCA’s WebFax tool to communicate their support for this effort to their Representatives in Congress.
“Given all of this support, it should be clear to the House Leadership that the American people prefer justice to indifference and hypocrisy when it comes to genocide,” remarked Ardashes Kassakhian, Executive Director of the ANCA-WR. “We’re calling upon House Leaders to do what’s right and end their opposition to this simple, commonsense piece of legislation,” said Kassakhian.
H.Res. 193, as its Senate companion S.Res. 164, is a resolution that officially recognizes the Armenian Genocide and marks the 15th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan signing the 1987 Genocide Convention Implementation Act, also known as the Proxmire Act. H.Res. 193 passed the House Judiciary Committee on May 22, 2003, shortly after its introduction on April 10, 2003. The House of Representatives voted to adopt the Schiff Amendment to the House version of the Foreign Operations spending bill, which aims to prohibit the Government of Turkey from using U.S. foreign aid to lobby against H.Res. 193.