Five More Congressmen Join NORA Honorary Board

*Co-Chairman of the Congressional Armenian Caucus–John Porter–newly elected Armenian Congressman John Sweeney and Rep.’s Gary Miller–Jim Saxton–and Buck McKeon are welcomed to the Honorary Board.

WASHINGTON–The National Organization of Republican Armenia’s announced that five new members of its Honorary Board. Founder and Co-Chairman of the Congressional Armenian Caucus–Rep. John Porter (Ill.)–Armenian-American Congressman from New York–John Sweeney–and Rep.’s Gary Miller (Calif.)–Jim Saxton (NJ)–and Buck McKeon (Calif.).

Rep. John Porter–who was the Co-Founder and now the Co-Chairman of the Congressional Armenian Caucus–has had a long history of support on Armenian issues including; cosponsoring Genocide Resolutions–making statemen’s on the House floor–and supporting amendmen’s to cut aid to Azerbaijan and Turkey for their ongoing blockade and Genocide denial. In 1995–Congressman John Porter introduced legislation to cut aid to Turkey for its ongoing human rights abuses.

"Congressman Porter’s long-standing support is greatly appreciated by the Armenian community–and NORA is honored to have him as a leader on our board," commented NORA Chairperson Melanie Kerneklian. "We look forward to continue working closely with Congressman Porter and together representing the Armenian community within the Republican Party," continued Kerneklian.

Rep. John Sweeney–who traces his Armenian roots through his mother’s family–was sworn-in as a member of the 106th Congress on January 6–1999. Soon after taking office Sweeney was quickly appointed to the Republican Steering Committee–the Committee on Banking–the Small Business Committee–and the Transportation Committee. House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas) recently appointed Rep. Sweeney as an Assistant Whip.

"We are both proud and excited to have Congressman Sweeney as an Honorary Board member of NORA. We are confident that Rep. Sweeney will soon distinguish himself as a champion of Armenian issues," commented Board member Aram Sarafian. "Having Armenian-American Republican representatives in the US House of Representatives active on Armenian issues is one of NORA’s top priorities," concluded Sarafian.

California Congressmen Gary Miller and Buck McKeon along with New Jersey Representative Jim Saxton signed on to the long list of influential elected officials who comprise NORA’s Honorary Board. Miller and McKeon who have had good records on Armenian issues throughout their tenure in Congress–add up to nine members to join the Honorary Board from California. Congressman Saxton (NJ)–who for the past several years has not had a good voting record on Armenian issues–has crossed over to be more supportive on the issues important to the Armenian-American community.

"We are extremely pleased to see supporters of the Armenian community like Congressmen Miller and McKeon join the Honorary Board and offer their leadership on the issues," commented Board Member Ara Bedrosian. "It is even more gratifying to see Representatives like Jim Saxton–who in the past have not been as supportive–to join the organization in a new light of support of the Armenian-American community. We welcome Congressmen Saxton and look forward to working more closely with him in the coming months," continued Bedrosian.

The current members of NORA’s Honorary Board include the following officials: Governor Jim Gilmore (Va.)–representatives Tom Bliley–Jr. (Va.)–John Doolittle (Calif.)–Steve Horn (Calif.)–Congresswoman Sue Kelly (NY)– Joe Knollenberg (MI)– Richard Pombo (Calif.)– John Porter (Ill.)– George Radanovich (Calif.)–James Rogan (Calif.)–Marge Roukema (NJ)–Ed Royce (Calif.)– Mark Souder (Ind.)–Bill Thomas (Calif.)– Jim Saxton (NJ)– Buck McKeon (Calif.)–Gary Miller (Calif.)–John Sweeney (NY)–Mike Der Manouel (Calif. Rep. Party Treasurer).

NORA works to expand the Republican Party’s outreach to the Armenian American community and to encourage Armenia’s to become involved in shaping and advancing the Republican agenda at the local–state–and national levels. Armenian American Republicans interested in learning more about the National Organization of Republican Armenia’s or participating in its activities are encouraged to call (202) 232-5151–or write to 1745 Pennsylvania Avenue–NW–Suite 126–Washington–DC 20006. Contact NORA via the internet at nora_dc@earthlink.net or visit our web page at www.nora-dc.org.

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