May 8, 2000

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressional candidates in races across the nation continue to share their views on Armenian American issues by submitting responses to the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Candidate Questionnaire.

The questionnaires, which are being sent to over 1,000 Congressional hopefuls throughout the country as part of the ANCA’s voter education campaign, provide candidates with an opportunity to state their positions on issues of pressing concern to Armenian Americans. Copies of the Congressional Questionnaires can be downloaded by visiting the ANCA website at Also provided at this website is a sample cover letter and instructions for forwarding the questionnaires to the appropriate elected officials.

“We have been encouraged by the response of Armenian Americans from around the nation who have visited to download copies of the ANCA candidate questionnaires and send them on the candidates seeking the support of our community,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “By printing-out and sending these questionnaires, Armenian America voters can ensure that they have the information they need to support the candidates for public office who are committed to a secure, prosperous, and democratic future for the people of Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh.”

The ANCA has also distributed questionnaires to the leading presidential candidates. Copies of these are available on the ANCA website. The congressional questionnaire calls upon each candidate to answer seven questions concerning their views on the Armenian Genocide; Self-Determination for Nagorno Karabagh; U.S. aid to Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh; the Section 907 restriction on U.S. aid to Azerbaijan, and; the Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades of Armenia and Karabagh. The presidential questionnaire, which includes eighteen questions, goes into more detail on these points and adds questions regarding planned presidential visitations and increasing the level of participation by Armenian Americans in the federal government.

The ANCA’s election year voter education campaign is designed to 1) educate Armenian Americans about the policy issues impacting Armenia, Nagorno Karabagh, and the surrounding region; 2) provide timely and reliable information on the records and views of the candidates seeking Armenian American votes, and; 3) encourage increased civic participation local, state, and national elections.

The following represents a sample of responses from Congressional candidates throughout United States. In addition to those listed below, others submitting responses voicing support on each of these issues include Representatives Connie Morrella (R-MD), Barney Frank (D-MA), Bob Filner (D-CA), Joe Hoeffel (D-PA), Lane Evans (D-IL), and Michael McNulty (D-NY).

Question 1: U.S. Support for Armenia

Do you support targeting U.S. assistance to Armenia to promote trade, long-term economic self- sufficiency, and democratic pluralism?

Rep. Robert Borski (D-PA): “Last year, the House, with my support, approved roughly $90 million in fiscal year 2000 foreign assistance to Armenia. This was included in the Omnibus Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2000, which was cleared by the House on November, 18, 1999, and signed into law (P.L. 106-113) by President Clinton on November 29, 1999.”

Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA): “Yes, and my voting record reflects this.”

Question 2: U.S. Support for Nagorno Karabagh

Do you support continuing U.S. assistance to Nagorno Karabagh as a confidence-building measure designed to advance a negotiated settlement of this conflict?

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ): “Yes. In addition to the Appropriations process, I continue to press the Administration on this issue.”

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI): “Yes, I strongly support continuing U.S. aid to Nagorno Karabagh.”

Rep. James McGovern (D-MA): “Yes – I have joined with my colleagues on several letters over the past 3 1/2 years urging U.S. aid to Nagorno Karabagh.”

Question 3: Conditions on U.S. Aid to Azerbaijan

Do you support the Freedom Support Act provision on U.S. aid to Azerbaijan and will you oppose any efforts to weaken, waive or eliminate this law until Azerbaijan has lifted its blockades and ended its aggression against Nagorno Karabagh and Armenia?

Rep. Ben Cardin (D-MD): “U.S. foreign aid policy should seek to achieve the lifting of the blockades against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh. These policies are essential to the stability and economic development of the region, as well as consistent with the principles of America’s role in the world.”

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI): Yes, I strongly support the Freedom Support Act provision on U.S. aid to Azerbaijan.”

Rep. James McGovern (D-MA): “Yes – I support maintaining restrictions on aid to Azerbaijan in the foreign operations annual appropriations bills. I have also voted against all attempts to lift or weaken these restrictions.”

Question 4: Self-Determination for Nagorno Karabagh

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

Rep. James McGovern: “Yes – I have spoken on the floor of the House in support of self-determination for Nagorno Karabagh.”

Candidate Mark Kirk (R-IL): “Yes, human rights and self-determination are key parts of U.S. foreign policy.”

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ): “Yes. This is a message I have brought to the U.S. Government and the Government in Stepanakert.”

Question 5: The Armenian Genocide

Do you support, and will you participate in, Congressional initiatives and resolutions to recognize and commemorate the Armenian Genocide?

Rep. Robert Borski (D-PA): “I support efforts to commemorate the Armenian Genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 through 1923. In 1996, I supported an amendment to cut aid to Turkey by $22 million until the Turkish government acknowledges the Armenian Genocide.”

Rep. Ben Cardin (D-MD): “The genocide against the Armenian people was the first such atrocity in a century that would be marked by untold horrors. In the face of such brutal examples of man’s inhumanity to man, one way for us to insert our humanity is to speak the truth. The perpetrators of ethnic cleansing, tribal slaughter and genocide will attempt to distort and conceal the truth. They will try to cover their bloody tracks by claiming that their victims share complicity. To combat these truth-twisters, we must remain eternally vigilant to keep even history’s most terrifying truths alive.”

Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY): “Yes. I have and will continue to support such initiatives.”

Rep. James McGovern (D-MA): “I am a proud cosponsor of H.Res.398.”

Question 6: The Turkish Blockade of Armenia

The Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act, which became law in 1996, prohibits U.S. foreign aid to nations, such as Turkey, which obstruct U.S. humanitarian aid deliveries to a third nation. Do you support enforcement of this law as a means of encouraging Turkey to lift its blockade of Armenia?

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI): “Yes, I strongly support enforcement of the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act.”

Candidate Mark Kirk (R-IL): “I helped to pass the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act as a staff member on the International Relations Committee.”

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ): “Yes. I have opposed the Administration’s use of the ‘national security’ waiver to evade this law.”

Question 7: U.S. Arms Sales to Turkey

Do you support creating links between U.S. arms sales and transfers to Turkey to that nation’s ongoing blockade of Armenia, continued occupation of Cyprus, mistreatment of the Kurds, unfair restrictions on Christian communities, and worsening human rights record?

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI): “I support links that will help restrict arms sales to Turkey based on their actions in Cyprus, the blockade of Armenia, mistreatment of the Kurds, and other human rights issues.”

Rep. James McGovern (D-MA): “Yes – I have joined letters to the Administration regarding Turkey and all these issues. I would support legislation to enforce restrictions as well.”


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
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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