WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives will likely have its last opportunity, before adjourning, to hold a vote on the Armenian Genocide Resolution on Wednesday, December 22nd, when the House leadership is expected to schedule a series of votes on legislation, including a measure that would provide additional health benefits for 9/11 first responders, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“We look to Speaker Pelosi to do the right thing and allow a bipartisan majority of her House colleagues an opportunity to vote to end Turkey’s gag rule on American recognition of the Armenian Genocide,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “It’s long past time for the U.S. Congress to honor the victims and the last remaining survivors of this crime.”
On Tuesday, an unprecedented number of Armenian Americans and anti-genocide activists across the United States continued to mobilize in support of a possible vote on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.252, with the offices of the Speaker and House Majority Leader flooded with thousands of phone calls. Last week, Armenian American celebrities Kim Kardashian and Serge Tankian urged millions of their Twitter, Facebook and website followers to bring H.Res.252 to the Floor. These efforts were supported, on the ground in Washington, DC, by dozens of community and church leaders from around the country, who continue to meet with legislators on Capitol Hill in support of H.Res.252.
House Resolution 252, introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and spearheaded by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA), Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) along with a bipartisan base of Congressional leaders from across the U.S. including incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), incoming House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Foreign Affairs Committee Member Ed Royce (R-CA). The resolution currently has 149 cosponsors.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee adopted the measure in March, 2010. Similar legislation was adopted at the committee level in the U.S. House in 2000, 2005, and 2007.
The Armenian Genocide Resolution “calls upon the President to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide and the consequences of the failure to realize a just resolution.” It goes on to urge the President, in his “annual message commemorating the Armenian Genocide issued on or about April 24, to accurately characterize the systematic and deliberate annihilation of 1,500,000 Armenians as genocide and to recall the proud history of United States intervention in opposition to the Armenian Genocide.”