- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "The vandalism of the Krouzian-Zekarian-Vasbouragan Armenian School in San Francisco is a despicable hate crime. Sadly, it follows a number of similar incidents in the United States and abroad that have occurred in a climate of rising tension with Azerbaijan. I stand in solidarity with the Armenian community in California and across the world in condemning these acts of hatred." View the Facebook post here. 07/13/20
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "I am very concerned by the recent provocative and destabilizing actions taken by Azerbaijan in recent days along the Armenian border, including the shelling of Armenian soldiers. These acts risk the lives of soldiers and civilians, and raise the danger of a spiraling conflict that could be devastating to the region, particularly in the midst of a global pandemic. These actions must also be viewed in context of Azerbaijans consistently bellicose rhetoric towards Armenia and Artsakh, and its refusal to allow international monitoring of their borders. I urge the State Department to make clear to all parties the need for restraint and diplomacy, and reduced tensions.
https://eurasianet.org/armenia-azerbaijan-resume-fighting" View the Facebook post here. 07/07/20
- Rep. Schiff tweeted "Vandalizing an Armenian Genocide memorial is unconscionable. But a White House that has refused to recognize the genocide to placate Turkey cannot now use the memorial as a tool to attack protestors. If you want to honor genocide victims, you can start by ending the denial." View the tweet here. 05/28/20
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "I would like to extend my congratulations to the Armenian people in the United States, in Armenia, and around the world on the 102nd anniversary of the founding of the first Republic of Armenia.
Just over a century ago, Armenia declared independence after enduring centuries under foreign occupation and oppression. The Armenian people heroically fought in the battles of Sardarabad, Gharakiliseh, and Pash-Abaran to protect their homeland. Armenian Independence Day will alwayssymbolize freedom and self-determination, and is a shining example of the Armenian peoples resilience and perseverance through genocide and modern day threats.
As a proud representative of the many Armenian-Americans of Californias 28th congressional district, I remain committed to deepening the diplomatic relationship between the United States and Armenia, and to see Armenia continue to thrive and grow as a democratic state." View the Facebook post here. 05/20/20
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "Thanks to Burbank Temporary Aid Center, Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, and the COVID-19 Armenian Community Task Force for inviting me to join your volunteer efforts. I am proud that so many community organizations are stepping up to help get food and supplies to our neighbors in need. Throughout these dark and uncertain times, the spirit of our community has shone through. We will get through this together." View the Facebook post here. 04/24/20
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "Today, we join together to commemorate the 105 years that have passed since the Armenian Genocide, to remember those we lost, and to say we will never forget.
As the representative of an extraordinary Armenian-American community in California, I have been honored to participate in annual Armenian Genocide commemoration events. Together we have marched shoulder to shoulder, stood in solidarity, and joined in mourning at vigils. All to demand justice, and to remember those we have lost.
This is not how any of us envisioned this day. I hoped and expected to be in Los Angeles among tens of thousands of Armenian Americans and their friends and allies as we marched. That is not possible today because of the coronavirus, but I know we will be able to join together in person soon.
During these uncertain and difficult times, it is community that sustains us, even our virtual community. No one can attest to that more clearly than the Armenian people, who have faced centuries of tribulation, yet remain strong and unbowed, here in Los Angeles, in Yerevan, and around the world.
This remembrance day is of special importance because it is the first since we achieved something we had all strived towards for decades. Last year, for the first time in history, both the House and Senate passed resolutions by near unanimous margins affirming the facts of the Armenian Genocide.
The House and the Senate stated what we already know. That 105 years ago, the Ottoman Empire unleashed a campaign of death and destruction and set out to destroy the Armenian people in the first genocide of the 20th century.
And for years, Turkey has engaged in a campaign to deny the genocide, to try and erase this horror from its history. And it has sought to threaten and cajole others into that same shameful silence, and to my great sadness, for many decades the U.S. Government was among those intimidated into silence.
But no longer.
Today, we stand together, united, stronger than ever, to say that their efforts to annihilate the Armenian people failed. Just look at the proud Armenian nation and the thriving diaspora. And we will not bow to their demands to forget, or to cover it up.
The passage of the genocide resolution is something that thousands upon thousands of us have worked, struggled, and prayed for decades to accomplish. We did it. And Im so thankful we passed it while we still have survivors enriching our communities and families.
The resolution puts Congress on record recognizing and commemorating the Armenian Genocide. It encourages public understanding and education of the history. And it affirms our duty to fight all genocides, whether one hundred years ago or in the present day, and to never forget. Its a testament to efforts of thousand of activists, organizations, community and church leaders who have fought for this for so long. Its a victory for human rights, and its something we achieved together.
I will always stand with the Armenian community to honor the martyred saints of the Armenian Genocide, and our unified work goes on as we continue to demand and fight for justice and reparations.
I will always stand with the Armenian community as we demand peace and democracy for Artsakh.
I will always stand with the Armenian community as we strengthen our ties to Armenia and work together to confront the coronavirus pandemic and save lives.
While we can never undo the atrocities of this dark chapter in human history, the passage of this resolution is a commitment that we will never forget and we will never again be intimidated into silence. Never again.
Please stay safe and stay healthy. And I know well all see each other soon, join together, and march side by side once again." View the Facebook post here. 04/24/20
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "It has been an honor to fight alongside my Armenian-American constituents and advocates from across the country for nearly two decades to demand that the United States formally recognize what history knows to be true:
From 1915 to 1923, the Ottoman Empire murdered 1.5 million Armenians in the first genocide of the 20th Century.
Every April 24, we honor those who were lost in the Armenian Genocide, so they never are lost to history. But this year is of special significance because it is the first Commemoration since both the House and the Senate passed resolutions by near-unanimous margins to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide.
For almost two decades Ive been proud to carry the legislation in the House commemorating the Armenian Genocide. It was always my hope that we could get it passed while there were still survivors among us and we did, although very few survivors remain. This is a moment tens of thousands of Armenian Americans have worked and fought and prayed for, a moment when the United States Congress refused to be a party to the cause of genocide denial.
We will never forget. And we will never again be silenced." View the Facebook post here. 04/24/20
- Rep. Schiff tweeted "More than 100 years ago, the Ottoman Turks murdered 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children. Each year, we commemorate their memory on April 24. And this year will be the first since the Congress officially recognized the Armenian Genocide. We will never again be silenced." View the tweet here. 04/23/20
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "In commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, I am joining the Foothill Communities Armenian Genocide Commemoration Task Force by lighting a candle in honor of the 1.5 million Armenians who were murdered during this dark period of history. I would encourage all who can to participate in this virtual vigil by lighting a candle in your window from 8:00 to 10:00 PM tonight. As we remember those who were killed, let us always be vigilant of atrocities as they unfold around us and never remain silent when we witness these injustices. We will never forget. #CVCandlelightVigil" View the Facebook post here. 03/01/20
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "This week marks the 32nd anniversary of the pogrom against the Armenian residents of the town of Sumgait, Azerbaijan. On February 27 1988, and for three days following, Azerbaijani mobs assaulted and killed Armenians. The violence left hundreds of Armenian civilians dead and injured, women and girls were raped, and some victims were burned alive. Thousands were forced to flee their homes, leaving behind their belonging.
Two years later, it is estimated that only 40,000 of the 250,000 Armenian residents of Baku remained in Azerbaijan. On January 13, 1990, organized Azeribaijani mobs turned on those remaining, many of them elderly or disabled, and killed hundreds and injured many more.
The pogroms came as a direct result of years of vicious, racist anti-Armenian propaganda by Azerbaijani authorities, dehumanizing the Armenian residents of Azerbaijan and laying the groundwork for mass violence. Azerbaijani authorities made little effort to punish those responsible, instead attempting to cover up the atrocities and denying the government role in instigating the attacks.
The pogroms accomplished their purpose in displacing the entire Armenian community from their homes in Azerbaijan, but in the decades since, Azerbaijani authorities have continued to fan the flames of ethnic hatred, using it as a tool to distract their populace from the corrupt and repressive regime in Baku. The anniversary of Sumgait is a reminder of the consequences when aggression and hatred grow unchecked.
In less than two months we will mark the 105th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, an event the Turkish government, Azerbaijans closest ally, goes to great lengths to deny. We must not let such crimes against humanity go unrecognized, whether they occurred yesterday or 30 years ago or 100 years ago. As we pause to remember the victims of the atrocities of Sumgait and Baku pogroms, we must remember: It is our moral obligation to condemn crimes of hatred and to remember the victims, in hope that history will not be repeated." View the Facebook post here. 02/14/20
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "Im grateful to Ambassador Varuzhan Nersesyan, Armenias Ambassador to the U.S., for taking the time to meet with me this week.
We discussed developments in Armenia, the diaspora, and around the region, and how we can further strengthen the ties between our two nations. We also talked about how meaningful the passage of the Armenian Genocide recognition resolution last year was for Armenians, both in Armenia and throughout the United States, and for human rights advocates everywhere." View the Facebook post here. 12/31/19
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "As 2019 winds to a close, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on this historic year, share updates on what we were able to accomplish, and discuss what is coming up in 2020.
This year, the House of Representatives has been hard at work passing legislation to raise wages, provide affordable housing, lower prescription drug and health care costs, support veterans, recognize the Armenian Genocide and much more. In the House, we passed more than 400 bills, including more than 275 bills with bipartisan support, that now await a vote in the Senate.
Ive introduced legislation throughout the year on some of the most pressing issues facing our communities, like the rising income inequality gap, affordable housing and homelessness, and gun violence. This includes my bill to provide tax incentives to increase housing for the homeless, and allow public housing agencies to better compete for such properties; legislation I introduced to expand the free and reduced lunch program to community colleges, where too many students go hungry for lack of resources for food; my bill to do away with the exemption from liability enjoyed by the gun industry, and my bill to help nonprofits obtain background checks to make sure volunteers who work with youth are properly screened. And Im particularly proud of my effort to expand the Santa Monica National Recreation Area to include the Rim of the Valley, which passed in key committees in the House and Senate.
In just the last two months, the House and Senate passed legislation I sponsored to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide. This is a vote I have fought for 19 years to make possible, and one that tens of thousands of my Armenian-American constituents have worked, struggled, and prayed for decades to see. This vote is a commitment that we will never forget and we will never again be intimidated into silence. It will always be a very proud moment for me as a legislator and as someone devoted to human rights.
But there is much work to be done next year.
In addition to legislating for the people, Congress has spent these past few months upholding our obligation to protect and defend the Constitution. Our Founders recognized that, someday, a president might come to office, abuse their power, betray the public trust, and undermine national security for his or her own personal, political gain. That is precisely what President Donald J. Trump has done, by using the levers of our government to press a foreign nation to help him cheat in his re-election campaign. And when he was caught, the President obstructed the investigation into his misconduct. Out of duty to our country and to our Constitution, the House of Representatives impeached the president, because no one is above the law not even the President of the United States.
Throughout this year, Ive cherished the opportunity to meet with so many of you: from marching with constituents in the LA Pride Parade, on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, and with local students walking out from their classes to protest gun violence; to hosting conversations on the rise of bigotry, food insecurity on community college campuses, entertainment industry issues, and more; to countless meetings with constituent advocacy groups in Burbank and in D.C., I am humbled and honored to be your representative in our nation's capital.
You can read my full 2019 year in review here: http://j.mp/Schiff2019
And be sure to sign up to receive email updates from me in the future at https://schiff.house.gov/
Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year!"12/12/19
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "BREAKING: The Senate joined the House by passing the Armenian Genocide resolution introduced by Senators Menedez and Cruz. Congress is now united in speaking the truth about the genocide. It's time for the President to join us." View the Facebook post here. 12/12/19
- Rep. Schiff tweeted "BREAKING: The Senate just joined the House by passing the Armenian Genocide resolution introduced by @SenatorMenendez and @tedcruz. The Congress is now united in speaking the truth about the genocide. It's time for the President to join us." View the tweet here. 12/02/19
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "Ever since I was first elected in 2000 to represent our community in Congress, Ive had the privilege of representing one of the largest Armenian diaspora communities anywhere in the world. For 19 years, I have lobbied my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, introduced bipartisan resolutions, marched and rallied, and implored Presidents of both parties to recognize the Armenian Genocide. This October, the House of Representatives finally passed a resolution to commemorate the Armenian Genocide by a vote of 405 to 11, a resounding bipartisan achievement. We must never again be silent." View the Facebook post here. 11/25/19
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "Last month, the House recognized the Armenian Genocide by an overwhelming bipartisan vote. Senator Menendez and Senator Cruz have been working to get the Senate to join us.
But it turns out the White House has intervened twice to block it. Its always the right time to speak the truth." View the Facebook post here. 11/25/19
- Rep. Schiff tweeted "Last month, the House recognized the Armenian Genocide by an overwhelming bipartisan vote. @SenatorMenendez and @TedCruz have been working to get the Senate to join us.Turns out the White House has intervenedtwiceto block it. Its always the right time to speak the truth." View the tweet here. 10/30/19
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "Yesterday, the House took a powerful stand against genocide denial by voting to formally recognize and commemorate the Armenian Genocide. As the Representative for one of the largest Armenian diaspora communities anywhere in the world, this vote is deeply personal to me, one that I have worked for 19 years to bring about. I joined KPCC to discuss what this vote means for Armenian Americans and for the United States standing as world leader on human rights:" View the Facebook post here. 10/29/19
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "Today, the House passed H.Res 296, which I introduced along with Representative Gus Bilirakis, to recognize and commemorate the Armenian Genocide. This is a vote I have fought to make possible for 19 years; one that tens of thousands of my Armenian American constituents have waited decades to see. It is a moment that so many have worked and struggled and prayed for. Today, the House of Representatives refused to be enlisted in the cause of genocide denial.
This April, the world marked the 104th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the systematic murder of 1.5 million Armenians and the displacement of millions more by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923. Many other religious and ethnic minorities in the Ottoman Empire met similar fates, among them the Greeks, Assyrians, and Chaldeans. More than a century after the Armenian Genocide, it is our solemn responsibility to remember those who were lost, to seek justice and restitution, and to educate Americans and the world about the crime of genocide.
It is always the right time to recognize genocide, but it is particularly so today. For when we see the images of terrified Kurdish families in Northern Syria, loading their possessions into cars or carts and fleeing their homes headed to nowhere except away from Turkish bombs and marauding militias, how can we say the crimes of a century ago are in the past?
We cannot. We cannot pick and choose which crimes against humanity are convenient to speak about. We cannot cloak our support for human rights in euphemisms. We cannot be cowed into silence by a foreign power.
What we can do what we must do is state the facts. We can say that the Ottoman Empire committed this grotesque crime against the Armenians, but their campaign of extermination failed; and that, above all, we will never forget and we will never again be intimidated into silence." View the Facebook post here. 10/29/19
- Rep. Schiff tweeted "The House just voted to recognize the Armenian Genocide a vote I fought for 19 years to make possible, that tens of thousands of my Armenian American constituents have waited decades to see. We will not be party to genocide denial. We will not be silent. We will never forget." View the tweet here. 10/24/19
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "Today, we took an important step in ending the United States shameful denial of the Armenian Genocide. Next week, the House will vote on H.Res. 296, the Armenian Genocide Resolution. This is a moment that has been years in the making, and Im grateful for the tireless advocacy of so many who insisted that the United States must never be a party to genocide denial. In my years of advocacy for recognition, I have met countless survivors, and though their numbers have dwindled with the passage of time, their children and grandchildren carry forward their legacy. As we move towards a vote, their faces are seared into my memory, as are their stories of escaping the killing fields, surviving the death marches, and striving to build a new life as Americans, with tens of thousands who settled in Los Angeles.
Recent weeks have brought images of families and children fleeing their homes in terror, headed to nowhere except away from the bombs and mortars. These images make the memory of one hundred years ago feel like yesterday. Denial of genocide causes pain to the survivors, yes, but it also gives succor to human rights abusers of today, who can rest easily that the passage of time and the accumulation of power will wipe clean their reputation. As Hitler said at the outset of the Holocaust, Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians."
We will never forget, not the Armenians, not the Jews, not the Kurds. And we will act with the same urgency to recognize the genocides of the last century as we do to halt the atrocities of today." View the Facebook post here. 10/24/19
- Rep. Schiff tweeted "This has been years in the making, thanks to the tireless advocacy of those who insisted the US must never be a party to genocide denial. I hope all Members join me next week in voting to recognize the Armenian Genocide. We will never forget, and we will never be silent." View the tweet here. 10/17/19
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "The Turkish military invaded Syria this week as a result of a late-night, total capitulation to Turkish President Recep Erdogan by the President of the United States. The situation on the ground continues to deteriorate, to the detriment of civilians and U.S. interests. Civilians are fleeing, and the Kurds who fought bravely alongside American forces against ISIS are threatened with ethnic cleansing and annihilation.
I am also deeply concerned that the chaotic nature of the withdrawal means that high value ISIS detainees, as well as thousands of ISIS sympathizers, have escaped. The battle to defeat ISIS took years and many lives - and in one phone call, the President has put all these hard fought gains at risk, and Americas security along with them.
The longer the Turkish campaign goes on, the greater the civilian suffering will be, and the greater the chaos. Kurdish forces have invited the Syrian Army to join the fight, and it is clear that the immediate beneficiaries of our rapid withdrawal are likely to be Russia, Iran, and Assad. It also endangers religious minorities, many of the Christians, in Syria who survived the genocidal actions of ISIS and who now face a new and uncertain future.
Congress can and should work on a bipartisan basis to restrain Turkeys advance and place the pressure on Erdogan to protect civilian lives that are clearly of little concern to the President. This week, the House will vote on a bipartisan resolution condemning Turkeys actions in Syria and supporting our Kurdish allies, as well as enacting new sanctions on Turkey.
As part of our response, we should also formally recognize the Armenian Genocide, our silence on which remains shameful and which gives succor to human rights abusers today, Erdogan among them. I will continue making the case that denial of the Armenian Genocide is all the more shameful today as we see the disregard of our security interests and human rights from the Turkish government.
We will feel the consequences of this decision to our security and our credibility with our allies for years to come." View the Facebook post here. 10/16/19
- Rep. Schiff tweeted "Mr. President, Turkeys offensive in Syria has a lot to do with us, since it was prompted by your decision to withdraw our troops. The slaughter of our Kurdish allies, the release of ISIS fighters and the risk that ISIS resurges are grave threats to American national security" View the tweet here. 10/01/19
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "I was honored last weekend to join thousands of Armenian-American Angelenos to welcome Prime Minister Pashinyan to Los Angeles. Yerevan may be the capitol of Armenia, but I think we can all agree that Los Angeles is the capitol of the Armenian Diaspora.
Along with so many of my colleagues in Congress and friends across Los Angeles, I have watched with great interest and hope as Armenia has experienced a democratic revival post-Velvet Revolution. From out of that chaotic situation, the peaceful transition of power and the conduct of free and fair elections shows the strength and resilience of Armenias democracy. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Pashinyan, Armenia is deepening and strengthening its global ties. I am proud to represent a district with such a large and vibrant Armenian-American community, and I will continue to work to strengthen the U.S.-Armenia relationship." View the Facebook post here. 09/27/19
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "There is no place for hatred, bigotry, or racism in our community. I join my Armenian-American constituents in condemning this shameful vandalism particularly appalling because it defaced a community organization that serves our elderly. We must ensure that those responsible are held accountable.
http://asbarez.com/186108/armenian-council-on-aging-building-vandalized-with-racist-graffiti/" View the Facebook post here. 09/21/19
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "Oorakh Angakhootyan Or! I am honored today to join my Armenian-American constituents and Armenians around the world in celebrating the 28th anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Armenia. The Armenian peoples struggle for freedom and independence has lasted for centuries. They have survived foreign domination and the first genocide of the 20th Century, and their strength and resilience have been a constant source of inspiration to me. In a time of democratic change, we will continue to work hand in hand to strengthen the ties between America and Armenia." View the Facebook post here. 08/10/19
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "For years, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been providing assistance to a non-profit focused on removing landmines from Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh. Nagorno-Karabakh is one of the most heavily mined regions of the world, and many civilians have been injured and killed as a result. Thanks to support from the international community, were getting closer to a mine-free Nagorno-Karabakh, but last week we were notified that USAID is cutting off support for this effort just as we reach the home stretch. This decision is wrong and it goes against Congress intent, which we made abundantly clear we must continue this humanitarian assistance. This week, I joined many of my colleagues in writing to USAIDs leadership, asking that they abide by Congresss wishes and continue this assistance. It goes a long way to allowing the people of Artsakh to live and flourish free of fear, and we should see it through." View the Facebook post here. 06/29/19
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "One of the best parts about this job is meeting passionate young people who aspire to make a difference in our communities, our country, and across the globe. This week's meeting with interns from the Armenian Assembly of America was no exception. Their passionate advocacy on behalf of the homeless, support for Armenias new reformist government, and a host of other priorities is inspiring to see in our next generation of leaders." View the Facebook post here. 04/24/19
- Rep. Schiff posted the following to Facebook: "104 years ago, the Ottoman Empire murdered 1.5 million Armenians in the first genocide of the 20th century. 104 years later, the United States still has not formally recognized the Armenian Genocide for fear of Turkish retaliation - an enduring wound to the Armenian people who descended from survivors to build lives here in the United States, in Armenia, and around the world.
Today we march to honor the victims of the Armenian Genocide and affirm the survival and flourishing of the Armenian people. Tomorrow, we get back to work to secure full recognition, and we will never rest until we succeed."