Representatives Join Senators in Sending Bipartisan Letters to the White House
WASHINGTON—Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have sent a bipartisan letter to President Barack Obama, encouraging him, this April, to properly affirm the Armenian Genocide as a clear case of genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“We thank members of both the U.S. House and Senate for their bipartisan efforts to encourage President Obama to speak openly and honestly about the Armenian Genocide during this April’s Centennial observance,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “Special thanks to Congressman Pallone and Dold for leading this effort, and to each signatory of this Armenian Caucus letter.”
The House letter, spearheaded by Armenian Caucus Co-Chairmen Robert Dold (R-Ill.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), echoed language from Obama’s campaign promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide: “A clear recognition of the Armenian Genocide, particularly in this centennial year, would affirm that the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence.” They added, “A principled presidential statement clearly citing the Armenian Genocide would help strengthen condemnations of the past, and recognize the important relationship the United States shares with Armenia today.”
Joining the Congressional Armenian Caucus co-chairs in signing the letter are Representatives Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), Dave Brat (R-Va.), Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), James Langevin (D-R.I.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Sander Levin (D-Mich.), Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), James McGovern (D-Mass.), Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), Edward Royce (R-Calif.), Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), John Sarbanes (D-Md.), Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Christopher Smith (R-N.J.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Dina Titus (D-Nev.), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), David Trott (R-Mich.), Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.), David Valadao (R-Calif.), and Christopher Van Hollen (D-Md.).
A U.S. House resolution, H.Res.154.—the Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice Resolution seeking improved Armenian-Turkish relations based on justice for this crime—has 50 cosponsors.
A similar Senate letter, led by Senators Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), noted that: “While the United States Congress has a long history of support for the victims and the memory of the Armenian Genocide, the Administration has not formally recognized the atrocities that were perpetrated against the Armenians as ‘genocide.'” The Senate signatories stressed that a principled stand by the president would “send a powerful signal to the international community that this Administration is committed to recognizing the Armenian Genocide, to upholding the ideals of tolerance and universal human rights upon which our country was founded, and to preventing similar atrocities from ever happening again.”
The text of the Congressional Armenian Genocide Centennial Letter to Obama is available here: