Incumbents and Challengers Reach out to Armenian American Voters through the ANCA Candidate Questionnaire

October 15, 2004

WASHINGTON, DC – In the final weeks before the November 2nd elections, Congressional candidates from around the nation continue to submit Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Candidate Questionnaires outlining their views on Armenian American issues.

The ANCA questionnaires were sent to over 1,000 Congressional candidates throughout the country as part of this election cycle’s ANCA voter education drive. Copies of both the Congressional and Presidential questionnaires can be downloaded by visiting the ANCA website at Also provided on this website are sample cover letters and instructions for forwarding the questionnaires to candidates.

The ANCA’s election year voter education campaign helps inform Armenian Americans about the policy issues impacting Armenia, Nagorno Karabagh, and the Armenian American community. The campaign also provides timely and reliable information on the records and views of the candidates seeking Armenian American votes, while encouraging increased civic participation in local, state, and national elections.

The Questionnaire features nine questions about recognition of the Armenian Genocide; U.S. support for Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh; U.S.-Armenia economic relations; Self-determination for Nagorno Karabagh; Conditions on U.S. aid to Azerbaijan; the Turkish blockade of Armenia, and; the U.S. subsidy of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline bypass of Armenia.

Provided below are several recent responses from Congressional candidates throughout United States.

Question 1: The Armenian Genocide

Do you support Congressional initiatives and resolutions to commemorate the Armenian Genocide?

Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA-53): We must recognize and condemn all acts of genocide against all races. I have supported resolutions in Congress doing so. The international community must also address ways to prevent future genocides and work to stop current genocides.

Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL-19): Congress plays an important role in insuring that the Armenian Genocide is not overlooked or forgotten. I am proud to play my role and will do all I can to help remember the 1.5 million Armenians who were massacred.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI-5): The fate of one and a half million Armenians at the hands of Young Turks in the early part of the 20th Century remains one of the darkest moments in the history of the world. I have long recognized the genocide inflicted upon the Armenian people. This is why as Chairman of the House Judiciary committee, I cosponsored and expeditiously voted out of my committee, legislation affirming America’s support of the Genocide Convention Implementation Act of 1987. Although we cannot do anything about the people who were murdered, we can remember the events that transpired, and honor the citizens of Armenia by commemorating the Armenian Genocide.

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN-4): The atrocities committed against the Armenian people between 1915 and 1923 must be recognized for what they were: genocide. I believe that the truth about the Armenian Genocide should be understood by all and officially acknowledged by the United States government, as well as the Turkish government. If we continue to react with silence regarding these events and are unwilling to stand up and publicly condemn these atrocities, we effectively give our approval to abuses of power such as the Armenian Genocide.

Question 2: U.S. Support for Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh

Do you support U.S. aid and other bilateral programs to strengthen Armenia’s independence?

Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ-9): As a Member of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue to work to ensure that Armenia receives the assistance it needs to become a flourishing and self-sufficient country.

House Candidate Bill Federer (R-MO-3): Yes. Armenia has a long and noble history as its own nation!

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI-6): I am a proud member of the Armenian Issues Caucus and support US aid to Armenia.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-18): I fully support maintaining a high level of economic assistance, along with the necessary military and humanitarian assistance to Armenia, both to help the country overcome the dual blockade which continues to impede Armenia’s economic well-being, as well as to continue the shift in U.S. assistance programs, away from humanitarian goals to longer term development ones.

Question 3: U.S. Support for Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh

Do you support continued U.S. developmental and humanitarian assistance to Nagorno Karabagh?

Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI-Senate): Yes, Nagorno-Karabagh needs continued developmental and humanitarian assistance from the U.S., especially due to the damaging blockades of trade and assistance imposed by Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Rep. Thaddeus McCottter (R-MI-11): Definitely. The NK region needs our help to not only grow, but to combat the economic consequences of the blockades.

Question 4: U.S. – Armenia Economic Relations

Do you support expanding the U.S.-Armenia economic relations, including extending permanent normal trade relations for Armenia and negotiating a Social Security Agreement and Tax Treaty?

Senate Candidate Inez Tenenbaum (D-SC-Senate): I will support the right of Armenians everywhere to live in a peaceful, democratic, and secure society.

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA-7): The ascension of Armenia to the World Trade Organization will begin to stabilize trade relations with the United States. It is a step in the right direction because free trade with Armenia will have a positive effect on not only the economy of that country but that of the United States as well. All free trade promotes job creation and economic growth throughout the world; by helping Armenia we are helping the American economy prosper.

Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL-19): I support extending permanent normal trade relations between the United States and Armenia as a means of strengthening the bonds and the commitment between our nations.

Question 5: Self-Determination for Nagorno Karabagh

Do you support Nagorno Karabagh’s right to self-determination within secure borders?

House Candidate Robert M. Neeld (D-FL-14): Yes. Security would help stabilize the region and allow a return of local culture.

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC-2): I believe Azerbaijan should stop the economic blockade of Armenia and believe Armenians should have the right to live within secure borders in a democratic society.

House Candidate Joe Driscoll (D-PA-15): The Congress, in the fiscal year 2003 foreign aid bill, should encourage the Administration to deliver previously appropriated aid to Nagorno Karabagh in a timely manner, and to allocate no less than $10 million specifically for reconstruction and economic development activities to help the people of Nagorno Karabagh recover.

Question 6: Conditions on U.S. Aid to Azerbaijan

Do you support maintaining Section 907 as a statement of U.S. opposition to Azerbaijan’s blockades?

Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA-13): I support maintaining Section 907 until Azerbaijan removes the threat of any blockades against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh.

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI-11): Yes. Azerbaijan must be held accountable for their actions—economic injustice must not be rewarded. I signed a letter to President Bush asking for parity in foreign military aid to Armenia and Azerbaijan, maintaining the intent and the language of the Section 907.

Question 7: The Turkish Blockade of Armenia

Do you support legislative and other means to encourage Turkey to end its blockade of Armenia?

Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA-40): Yes. Turkey’s blockade has inflated Armenia’s transportation costs by 30-35%, stifling its trade and economy. I have written to the President asking that he reiterate his Administration’s position to the Turkish government that the blockade be lifted.

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI-11): Turkey, too, must be held accountable, both for the Genocide of the past, and their blockades of today. The world must never forget what they did and what they still try to do today.

Question 8: The Turkish Blockade of Armenia

Do you support linking U.S. arms sales/transfers to Turkey to its blockade of Armenia, occupation of Cyprus, mistreatment of Kurds, restrictions on Christian communities, and human rights record?

House Candidate Joe Driscoll (D-PA-15): Congress should carefully scrutinize proposed sales and transfers of U.S. military hardware to Turkey, and ensure strict enforcement of Code of Conduct legislation limiting arms sales to regimes, including Turkey, that violate human rights or engage in aggression against neighboring states.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI-8): I support conditions on U.S. arms sales to any nation that is in violation of international law and disregards human rights.

Question 9: U.S. Subsidy of Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline Bypass

Do you oppose U.S. taxpayer subsidies for a Baku-Ceyhan pipeline route that avoids Armenia?

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN-4): The United States should not subsidize any oil or gas pipeline in the South Caucasus that is against the interests of U.S. taxpayers and fails to advance the U.S. goal of helping Armenia advance toward a more prosperous economic future.

Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA-43): I believe Armenia is a safe site for the pipeline and it would be a boom to economic development.


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Serouj Aprahamian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
888 17th Street, NW, Suite 904, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. (202) 775-1918 * Fax. (202) 775-5648 *
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