For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
tel. (202) 775-1918
ANCA Welcomes Rep. Valadao as Armenian Caucus Co-Chair
Fresno Republican has been Longstanding Congressional Champion of Artsakh
WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) warmly welcomes David Valadao (D-CA) – a longstanding legislative champion of Artsakh and Armenian issues on Capitol Hill – as incoming Co-Chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues.
“The ANCA welcomes Congressman Valadao’s leadership on the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, remarked ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian. “The fact the Congressman Valadao was named to the powerful House Committee on Appropriations earlier this month – which controls all federal spending – will make him an even more important ally for the U.S. humanitarian aid package we are seeking to secure for the heroic people of Artsakh,” the ANCA Chairman added.
In a statement issued earlier today, Rep. Valadao cited the importance of strengthening the U.S.-Armenia-Artsakh relationship. “Armenia is a nation so many of my constituents know and love,” said Congressman Valadao. “During my time in Congress, I introduced several resolutions formally recognizing the Ottoman Empire’s deportation and extermination of over two million Armenian people and, after years of Armenian-American advocacy for this cause, the House and the Senate finally passed H.Res. 296, Affirming the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide. However, my fight on behalf of my Armenian-American constituents must continue. Armenians living in Nagorno Karabakh recently faced attacks from Azerbaijani forces in violation of their decade-old ceasefire agreement. This kind of aggression is unacceptable and must end immediately. I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress on this issue and other issues of importance to the Armenian-American community as co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues. We must continue to advocate for the Armenian people and encourage the new Administration to maintain and strengthen relationships between the United States, Armenia, and Artsakh.”
Congressional Armenian Caucus Founding Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) welcomed Rep. Valadao to the Caucus leadership. In a statement released along with Rep. Valadao earlier today, Rep. Pallone noted, “The Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues has always operated in a bipartisan fashion, and I know our current co-chairs will continue this tradition. I’m confident we will work together to ensure the United States strengthens its relationship with Armenia and supports its young, democratically elected government that was shaken by last year’s devastating aggression by Azeri and Turkish forces in the region. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Caucus to ensure the incoming Secretaries of State and Defense are focused on reassessing our strategic relationships in the Caucasus region, upholding the principle of human rights, and holding bad actors like Turkish President Erdogan accountable.”
Congressman Valadao, who returned to Congress this year after a tightly contested election against incumbent TJ Cox, has a long history of championing issues of special concern to Armenians and our allies in Fresno and across California’s Central Valley. In 2017, he traveled to Artsakh, over objections from the State Department, and spearheaded passage of the Valadao Amendment appropriating life-saving humanitarian aid to de-mine Artsakh. Upon his return to the U.S. House, he was appointed to a post on the influential Appropriations Committee.
The ANCA has launched a national campaign to encourage U.S. Representatives to engage and support the work of the Armenian Caucus. Take action at www.anca.org/Caucus to ask your legislator to join this bipartisan legislative working group. If they are already a member, your letter will share your thanks for their participation. Rep. Valadao joins Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), and Adam Schiff (D-CA) in the leadership of the Armenian Caucus.
The ANCA spearheaded the bipartisan Congressional launch of the U.S. aid program to Artsakh in the FY98 foreign aid bill and has actively supported transformative projects providing maternal healthcare, clean drinking water, and mine clearance.
The 21st District of California represented by Congressman Valadao is centered in the San Joaquin Valley, home to tens of thousands of Armenian Americans, including many leaders in the region’s thriving agriculture sector.