Spotlight on 2012 Congressional Races
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) – ANCA Rating: A+
Sen. Feinstein was the lead Democratic cosponsor of S.Res.392, the Return of Churches Resolution. A perennial supporter of Armenian Genocide legislation, she continued her support in the 112th Congress with her cosponsorship of S.Res.399. In November 2011, she visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Montebello, CA, where she called for compensation for the Armenian Genocide.
Shelly Berkley (D-NV) – ANCA Rating: A+
Rep. Shelly Berkley (D-NV-1) is relinquishing the House seat she has held since 1998, and is challenging Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) for the Senate. As a member of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, she has consistently supported issues of concern to the Armenian American community. She cosponsored H. Res. 304, the Armenian Genocide Resolution, and H. Res. 306, the Return of Churches and Religious Freedom Resolution. She has also called for expanded US assistance to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, and has attended numerous events on Capitol Hill commemorating the Armenian Genocide and celebrating a vibrant Armenia and Artsakh.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) – ANCA Rating: A+
Sen. Menendez has been a leading force on issues of concern to the Armenian American community in New Jersey and throughout the nation since first being elected to Congress in 1992. In 2006, Sen. Menendez blocked the misguided nomination of Richard Hoagland to serve as US Ambassador to Armenia, after Hoagland offered responses to Senate Foreign Relations Committee inquiries denying the Armenian Genocide. In 2010, Sen. Menendez and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) opposed the appointment of Matthew Bryza to serve as US Ambassador to Azerbaijan, citing Bryza’s close ties to the repressive Aliyev regime. He has cosponsored every Armenian Genocide Resolution since entering Congress, and serves as the lead Democratic cosponsor of S. Res. 399, the Armenian Genocide Resolution, during the 112th Congress. He is a perennial participant at the Armenian Genocide Observance at Times Square. Just recently, he issued a strongly worded statement condemning the release and pardon of convicted Azerbaijani axe-murderer Ramil Safarov.
House of Representatives
Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL-10) – ANCA Rating: A+
As a freshman member, Rep. Dold immediately stepped up to take a leadership position on Armenian American concerns, joining with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) to serve as the lead Republican cosponsor of H. Res. 304, the Armenian Genocide Resolution, and speaking passionately at the annual Armenian Genocide Observance on Capitol Hill. He was also an early supporter of H. Res. 306, the Return of Churches and Religious Freedom Resolution, and attended events on Capitol Hill celebrating the 20th anniversaries of independence of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. For his consistent leadership on community concerns, Congressional Armenian Caucus Republican Co-Chair, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) recently announced Rep. Dold’s appointment as Republican Vice-Chair of the Caucus.
Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY-11) – ANCA Rating: A
After defeating one of the most outspoken pro-Turkey House Members, Michael McMahon, in a tight 2010 House race, Rep. Grimm has championed issues of concern to the Armenian American community. He has cosponsored H. Res. 304, the Armenian Genocide Resolution, and H. Res. 306, the Return of Churches Resolution, and expressed solidarity with the Christian Armenian community in New York City during a meeting with His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America. He has also been a consistent supporter of increased U.S. aid and trade with Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.
Former Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV-1)
Having previously served during the 111th Congress (2009-2010), former Rep. Dina Titus was a strong supporter of issues of concern to the Armenian American community in Nevada. She cosponsored H. Res. 252, the Armenian Genocide Resolution, during the 111th Congress and joined House colleagues at the 2009 Capitol Hill Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. During her time in Congress, she also co-signed a letter to President Obama expressing concern about the 2009 Turkey-Armenia Roadmap – a precursor to the failed Turkey-Armenia Protocols.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA-28) – ANCA Rating: A+
A member of the powerful House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Rep. Schiff has been an ardent advocate for increased aid to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, working with colleagues to ensure Committee adoption of a provision ensuring a minimum $5 million in U.S. aid to to Artsakh in FY2013. As the lead Democrat on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H. Res. 304, Rep. Schiff has been a forceful proponent of U.S. reaffirmation of that crime. He has consistently received an A+ rating from the ANCA since his election in 2000.
Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA-16) – ANCA Rating: A+
Hailing from the land of William Saroyan, Rep. Costa has done the Central Valley Armenian American community proud, receiving an A+ rating from the ANCA throughout his terms in office. From legislation affirming the Armenian Genocide to efforts to secure Turkey’s return of stolen Christian properties, Rep. Costa has been a steadfast ally in the Halls of Congress. His support extends to ongoing efforts to broaden U.S.-Armenia relations and the fight to ensure self-determination for the people of Karabakh.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA-22) – ANCA Rating: A
Central Valley Republican Devin Nunes was an early cosponsor of both the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.304) and the Return of Churches Resolution (H.Res.306). He also joined his colleagues in expressing concern to Secretary Clinton when she questioned the historical facts of the Genocide during a State Department Town Hall meeting. In August, 2012, he was part of a Congressional delegation trip to Armenia, where paid respects to the 1.5 million victims at the Armenian Genocide Memorial – Dzidzernagapert.
Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA-10) – ANCA Rating: A
Succeeding longtime Armenian American issues advocate George Radanonich (R), freshman Congressman Jeff Denham cosponsored the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.304) and the Return of Churches Resolution (H.Res.306). Rep. Denham told his constituents, “We must acknowledge the Armenian Genocide to remember those who lost their lives, as well as ensure that such a horrible tragedy will never happen again.” In September, he joined Rep. Nunes in issuing a statement condemning Azerbaijani President Aliyev’s pardon, promotion and praise for convicted axe-murderer Ramil Safarov.
Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA-39) – ANCA Rating: A+
As the Republican Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, Rep. Royce been a perennial champion of Armenian American concerns. A senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and lead Republican sponsor of the Return of Churches Resolution (H.Res.306), he was tireless in his support for the measure, which was adopted by the House in December, 2011. An outspoken advocate for self-determination for the people of Artsakh, Rep. Royce praised the recent Karabakh Presidential elections, noting, “Throughout the years we have seen a trend of its electoral system working in proper fashion and the most recent election maintains that precedent. Voting embodies a functioning democracy; I applaud all in Nagorno-Karabakh for putting democracy into action.”
Rep. Daniel Lungren (R-CA-7) – ANCA Rating: A-
Four-term Congressman Dan Lungren has been a consistent cosponsor of Armenian Genocide legislation and this term was no exception. He joined colleagues as an early cosponsor of the Return of Churches Resolution (H.Res.306), which was adopted by the House in December, 2011.
Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA-44) – ANCA Rating: A
Freshman Congresswoman Janice Hahn stood steadfast in support for the Congressional Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.304) and the Return of Churches Resolution (H.Res.306). In a statement issued after the passage of H.Res.306, Rep. Hahn noted “Today in Turkey, beautiful and historic Armenian churches, monuments and monasteries lie in ruins—broken not by the sands of time, but by desecration, theft and dynamite. For too long, the U.S. has allowed Turkey to elude responsibility for the destruction of Armenian churches. With this resolution, Congress sends a stern message to Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Erdogan – the United States will not tolerate Turkish assaults on Armenian heritage and religious freedom.”
Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA-27) – ANCA Rating: A
Rep. Chu was an early cosponsor of both the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.304) and the Return of Churches Resolution (H.Res.306). In a powerful statement on the House Floor condemning the Azerbaijani massacres in Sumgait and Baku, Rep. Chu noted “I worry the sentiments that sparked this violence still remains. Just last month, Azerbaijan began buying up weapons to regain control of the region. The President of Azerbaijan declared this is, “not a frozen conflict, and it’s not going to be one. America must remain committed to a peaceful and democratic resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, not one that relives the past.”
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-3) – ANCA Rating: A-
Rep. Grijalva has been a perennial cosponsor of Armenian Genocide legislation since
Joined House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Democrat Ed Markey in authoring a dissenting opinion to H. R. 2362, the Indian Tribal Trade and Investment Demonstration Project Act, which would have granted Turkey special advantages in conducting business with Native American tribes.
Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO-4) – ANCA Rating: A-
Rep. Gardner was one of a handful of Republican freshman to cosponsor H. Res. 304, the Armenian Genocide Resolution. He joined with Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL) and Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) in circulating a Dear Colleague letter to other Republican freshman urging them to support the Armenian Genocide Resolution.