Thirty U.S. Senators Join 178 Representatives in Sending Strong Message to White House

April 20, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC – Two hundred and eight U.S. legislators today called on President Bush to reaffirm the U.S. record on the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

In separate letters, 178 Representatives and 30 Senators specifically asked the President to properly characterize the atrocities as “genocide,” in his annual April 24th remarks. In February of 2000, during Michigan’s hotly contested Republican primary, then Governor Bush promised to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide if elected president. Since taking office in 2001, the President has retreated from this pledge, issuing a succession of April 24th statements that use evasive and euphemistic terminology to diminish the full historical, moral, and contemporary legal implications of Ottoman Turkey’s genocide against the Armenian nation.

The House letter, organized by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairmen Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), stressed that, “the United States must never allow crimes against humanity to pass without remembrance and condemnation. As U.S. efforts to aid victims of genocide continue, it is imperative that we pay tribute to the memory of others who have suffered and never forget the past. By commemorating the Armenian Genocide, we renew our commitment to prevent future atrocities and therefore negate the dictum that history is condemned to repeat itself.”

The Senate letter, led by Senators John Ensign (R-NV) and Richard Durbin (D-IL), noted that, “The memory of the Armenian Genocide underscores our responsibility to speak forcefully about our respect for fundamental human rights and opposition to mass slaughters. It is in the best interests of our nation and the entire global community to remember the past and learn from these crimes against humanity to ensure that they are never repeated. We respectfully request that you refer to the mass slaughter of Armenians as genocide in your commemorative statement.”

“The Armenian Genocide is incontrovertible, of which the U.S. Archives is replete with thousands of pages documenting this horrific crime,” said Co-Chairmen Joe Knollenberg and Frank Pallone. “The President has employed a textbook definition of genocide to describe the events that occurred from 1915-1923, but a full and irrevocable U.S. affirmation of the Armenian Genocide is necessary to prevent such crimes from happening in the future.”

“We are very gratified by the strong, bipartisan message from Congress encouraging the President to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide in his April 24th remarks,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. “We join with our Congressional friends – most notably Senators John Ensign and Dick Durbin and Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone and Joe Knollenberg – in calling for moral clarity in our nation’s response to genocide.”

Members of Congress joining Reps. Pallone and Knollenberg in co-signing the letter included: Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Tom Allen (D-ME), Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Joe Baca (D-CA), Brian Baird (D-WA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Gresham Barrett (R-SC), Charles Bass (R-NH), Melissa Bean (D-IL), Bob Beauprez (R-CO), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Shelley Berkley (D-NV), Howard Berman (D-CA), Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), Tim Bishop (D-NY), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), Mary Bono (R-CA), Jeb Bradley (R-NH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Dave Camp (R-MI), Lois Capps (D-CA), Michael Capuano (D-MA), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), William Clay (D-MO), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), John Conyers (D-MI), Jim Costa (D-CA), Jerry Costello (D-IL), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Danny Davis (D-IL), Susan Davis (D-CA), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Diana DeGette (D-CO), William Delahunt (D-MA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Charles Dent (R-PA), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), John Dingell (D-MI), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), John Doolittle (R-CA), Mike Doyle (D-PA), David Dreier (R-CA), Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Lane Evans (D-IL), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Mike Ferguson (R-NJ), Bob Filner (D-CA), Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Mark Foley (R-FL), Vito Fossella (R-NY), Barney Frank (D-MA), Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Jim Gibbons (R-NV), Charlie Gonzalez (D-TX), Al Green (D-TX), Gene Green (D-TX), Mark Green (R-WI), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Stephanie Herseth (D-SD), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Peter Hoekstra (R-MI), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Michael Honda (D-CA), Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Steve Israel (D-NY), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Jesse Jackson (D-IL), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Nancy Johnson (R-CT), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Sue Kelly (R-NY), Mark Kennedy (R-MN), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Dale Kildee (D-MI), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), John R. Randy, Jr. Kuhl (R-NY), James Langevin (D-RI), John Larson (D-CT), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Sander Levin (D-MI), John Lewis (D-GA), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Dan Lungren (R-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), Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), Cathy McMorris (R-WA), Michael McNulty (D-NY), Martin Meehan (D-MA), Michael Michaud (D-ME), Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA), Candice Miller (R-MI), Gwen Moore (D-WI), James Moran (D-VA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Richard Neal (D-MA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Devin Nunes (R-CA), John Olver (D-MA), C. L. Butch Otter (R-ID), William Pascrell (D-NJ), Donald Payne (D-NJ), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Richard Pombo (R-CA), Jon Porter (R-NV), George Radanovich (R-CA), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Mike Rogers (R-MI), Mike Ross (D-AR), Steven Rothman (D-NJ), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Edward Royce (R-CA), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Paul Ryan (R-WI), John Salazar (D-CO), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Bernard Sanders I VT), H. James Saxton (R-NJ), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), Joe Schwarz (R-MI), David Scott (D-GA), E. Clay Shaw (R-FL), Christopher Shays (R-CT), Brad Sherman (D-CA), John Shimkus (R-IL), Rob Simmons (R-CT), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Hilda Solis (D-CA), Mark Souder (R-IN), Pete Stark (D-CA), Ted Strickland (D-OH), John Sweeney (R-NY), Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), Mike Thompson (D-CA), John Tierney (D-MA), Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Mark Udall (D-CO), Christopher Van Hollen (D-MD), Peter Visclosky (D-IN), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Diane Watson (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Anthony Weiner (D-NY), Curt Weldon (R-PA), Dave Weldon (R-FL), Gerald Weller (R-IL), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Frank Wolf (R-VA), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).

Senators cosigning the letter to President Bush along with Senators Ensign and Durbin were: Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Wayne Allard (R-CO), George Allen (R-VA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA) , Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), John Kerry (D-MA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Carl Levin (D-MI), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Barak Obama (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI), Harry Reid (D-NV), Ken Salazar (D-CO), Rick Santorum (R-PA), Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and John Sununu (R-NH).


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
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