Thursday, September 15, 2005
Schiff Armenian Genocide Resolution Passed by Committee
Both Chairman Henry Hyde and Ranking Member Tom Lantos Support Measures
WASHINGTON, DC - For the first time in five years, the House International Relations Committee passed Armenian Genocide legislation (H. Con. Res. 195 and H. Res. 316) clearing the way for a historic vote on the House Floor.
In June, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) secured a commitment for today's mark-up from House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde (R-IL). A mark-up is the final hurdle a bill must pass before a vote by the full House of Representatives is possible.
The Schiff resolution (H. Con. Res. 195) commemorates the Armenian Genocide and urges Turkey to acknowledge the role of the Ottoman Empire in those atrocities. The resolution also urges Turkey to go beyond recognition of the Genocide and reach a just resolution with the Armenian people. The Schiff resolution has 85 co-sponsors.
The United States still does not officially recognize the 1915-1924 genocide of 1.5 million Armenians. This genocide is recognized by the European Union, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Russia and Switzerland.
After passing the Schiff resolution, the committee then approved a second resolution recognizing the genocide that was sponsored by Congressmen George Radanovich (R-CA), Joseph Knollenberg (R-MI), Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Frank Pallone (D-CA).
"This year marks the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. We are working to ensure our country recognizes this terrible tragedy while some of the victims are still alive, including the three brave survivors here today," said Schiff. "I urge the entire community to call Members of Congress and demand a quick floor vote for H. Con. Res. 195."
"Our entire community is grateful to Congressman Schiff for his efforts today in the International Relations Committee and for his tireless work to pass an Armenian Genocide Resolution," said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director, Armenian National Committee of America. "We look forward to building on the Committee's action and to working with all members of Congress to secure a full Floor vote on Armenian Genocide legislation at the earliest opportunity."
Congressman Schiff is a member of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues and he represents the largest Armenian population in the United States. He is a member of both the House Judiciary and International Relations committees. The 29th Congressional District includes the communities of Alhambra, Altadena, Burbank, East Pasadena, East San Gabriel, Glendale, Monterey Park, Pasadena, San Gabriel, South Pasadena and Temple City.