Members of the International Relations Committee Coming Under Pressure from Turkey's Lobbyists

July 19, 2005

WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is working in Washington, DC and in communities around the nation to generate support for Armenian Genocide legislation that is slated to come before the House International Relations Committee. It appears likely at this time that the Armenian Genocide measures (H.Res.316 and H.Con.Res.195) currently before Congress will be considered and acted upon by the influential panel.

“We welcome the willingness of Chairman Hyde and the International Relations Committee to formally consider and act upon Armenian Genocide legislation,” said ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian. “We especially would like to express our gratitude to George Radanovich for leading the effort and building on his decade-long record of principled and energetic leadership on this issue, to voice our gratitude to the Co-Chairs of the Armenian Caucus – Joe Knollenberg and Frank Pallone – for generating a powerful, bipartisan constituency, and to share our special appreciation for Adam Schiff’s vital role in ensuring Committee level action on Armenian Genocide legislation.”

“We look forward to working with our friends in focusing our collective energies on defeating Turkey’s genocide denial machine, to ensuring favorable consideration of these measures by the International Relations Committee, and to securing final passage of legislation reaffirming the Armenian Genocide by the House of Representatives,” added Hachikian.

H.Res.316, which was introduced by Representatives George Radanovich (R-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), calls upon the President to ensure U.S. foreign policy reflects appropriate understanding of the Armenian Genocide. The resolution includes thirty detailed findings from past U.S. hearings, resolutions and Presidential statements, as well as references to statements by international bodies and organizations. As of today, a bipartisan group of over ninety-eight Representatives have already agreed to cosponsor this measure.

H.Con.Res.195, introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff, was offered following direct negotiations with House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde (R-IL). The Chairman agreed to Committee-level consideration of Armenian Genocide legislation in return for Rep. Schiff tabling a planned June 8th Armenian Genocide amendment to the House Foreign Relations Authorization bill. The agreement addressed serious concerns on the part of the Administration and Congressional leaders that the Schiff Amendment – which had strong prospects of passing – would overshadow the White House meeting, held that same day, between President Bush and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan. This measure, which is in the process of being amended, reaffirms the Armenian Genocide within the broader context of regional relationships and addresses Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union.

According to Capitol Hill sources, the Turkish Ambassador and his lobbyists – including the Livingston Group – are actively making the rounds to members of the International Relations Committee, seeking to block any action on U.S. reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide. As part of this effort, the Livingston Group has been distributing a four-page genocide-denial document to Congressional offices.

A third, non-Genocide related resolution that may also be considered by the International Relations Committee deals with Turkey’s illegal blockade of Armenia. This measure, H.R.3103, introduced by Rep. Schiff, calls on Turkey to “comply with the long-standing position of the United States that in order to restore economic, political, and cultural links with Armenia, Turkey should immediately lift its ongoing blockade with Armenia.” In addition, it would require that, “Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit to the appropriate Congressional committees a report that outlines the steps taken and plans made by the United States to end Turkey’s blockade of Armenia.” The ANCA supports the adoption of this measure by the U.S. House at the earliest opportunity.

In addition to Reps. Radanovich, Schiff, Pallone and Knollenberg, those who have agreed to cosponsor H.Res.316 are: Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Tom Allen (D-ME), Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Charles Bass (R-NH), Howard Berman (D-CA), Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), Tim Bishop (D-NY), Jeb Bradley (R-NH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Michael Capuano (D-MA), Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), William Clay (D-MO), John Conyers (D-MI), Jim Costa (D-CA), Jerry Costello (D-IL), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), William Delahunt (D-MA), John Dingell (D-MI), Mike Doyle (D-PA), David Dreier (R-CA), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Bob Filner (D-CA), Mark Foley (R-FL), Barney Frank (D-MA), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Mark Green (R-WI), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Michael Honda (D-CA), Steve Israel (D-NY), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Jesse Jackson (D-IL), Sue Kelly (R-NY), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Dale Kildee (D-MI), Mark Kirk (R-IL), James Langevin (D-RI), Sander Levin (D-MI), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Edward Markey (D-MA), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Jim McDermott (D-WA), James McGovern (D-MA), John McHugh (R-NY), Buck McKeon (R-CA), Cathy McMorris (R-WA), Michael McNulty (D-NY), Martin Meehan (D-MA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Candice Miller (R-MI), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Devin Nunes (R-CA), John Olver (D-MA), Donald Payne (D-NJ), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Richard Pombo (R-CA), Mike Rogers (R-MI), Steven Rothman (D-NJ), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Edward Royce (R-CA), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Paul Ryan (R-WI), H. James Saxton (R-NJ), Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), Joe Schwarz (R-MI), E. Clay Shaw (R-FL), Christopher Shays (R-CT), Brad Sherman (D-CA), John Shimkus (R-IL), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Mark Souder (R-IN), Pete Stark (D-CA), Ted Strickland (D-OH), John Sweeney (R-NY), John Tierney (D-MA), Christopher Van Hollen (D-MD), Peter Visclosky (D-IN), Diane Watson (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Anthony Weiner (D-NY), Frank Wolf (R-VA), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
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