Congressional Support Grows for Bush to Properly Commemorate Armenian Genocide

WASHINGTON–DC– (ANCA)–Bipartisan support for a Congressional letter urging President Bush to keep his campaign pledge and properly characterize the Armenian Genocide as "genocide" continued to expand this week–with over 80 House Members having added their name to the list of signatories–reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). The grassroots effort to secure additional supporters will be expanding in the upcoming week.

Initiated by House Genocide Resolution lead sponsors George Radanovich (R-CA)–Adam Schiff (D-CA)–and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI)–the letter calls on President Bush to reaffirm the United States record on the Armenian Genocide in his April 24 commemorative statement. It argues that–"by properly recognizing the atrocities committed against the Armenian people as ‘genocide’ in your statement–you will honor the many Americans who helped launch our first international human rights campaign to end the carnage and protect the survivors." It continues–noting that "Now more than ever as your administration seeks to bring an end to global terrorism and to help establish democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq–the memory of the genocide underscores our responsibility to help convey our cherished tradition of respect for fundamental human rights and opposition to mass slaughters."

Congressional colleagues joining Representatives Radanovich–Schiff–Pallone–and Knollenberg pledging to co-sign the letter as of Friday–March 26–include: Tom Allen (D-ME)–Robert Andrews (D-NJ)–Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)–Xavier Becerra (D-CA)–Howard Berman (D-CA)–Michael Bilirakis (R-FL)–Tim Bishop (D-NY)–Sherrod Brown (D-OH)–Ken Calvert (R-CA)–William Clay (D-MO)–Jerry Costello (D-IL)–Joseph Crowley (D-NY)–Duke Cunningham (R-CA)–Danny Davis (D-IL)–Peter DeFazio (D-OR)–Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)–John Dingell (D-MI)–Vernon Ehlers (R-MI)–Anna Eshoo (D-CA)–Lane Evans (D-IL)–Bob Filner (D-CA)–Vito Fossella (R-NY)–Barney Frank (D-MA)–Scott Garrett (R-NJ)–Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)–Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)–Tim Holden (D-PA)–Steve Israel (D-NY)–Jesse Jackson (D-IL)–Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)–Sue Kelly (R-NY)–Patrick Kennedy (D-RI)–Dale Kildee (D-MI)–Mark Kirk (R-IL)–Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)–Nick Lampson (D-TX)–John Larson (D-CT)–Steven LaTourette (R-OH)–Barbara Lee (D-CA)–Sander Levin (D-MI)–John Lewis (D-GA)–William Lipinski (D-IL)–Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)–Nita Lowey (D-NY)–Stephen Lynch (D-MA)–Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)–Edward Markey (D-MA)–Jim Matheson (D-UT)–Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY)–Betty McCollum (D-MN)–Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI)–James McGovern (D-MA)–John McHugh (R-NY)–Buck McKeon (R-CA)–Michael McNulty (D-NY)–Grace Napolitano (D-CA)–Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)–Devin Nunes (R-CA)–John Olver (D-MA)–C. L. "Butch" Otter (R-ID)–Donald Payne (D-NJ)–Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)–Edward Royce (R-CA)–Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)–Christopher Shays (R-CT)–Brad Sherman (D-CA)–John Shimkus (R-IL)–Christopher Smith (R-NJ)–Mark Souder (R-IN)–Pete Stark (D-CA)–Edolphus Towns (D-NY)–Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D-OH)–Christopher Van Hollen (D-MD)–Peter Visclosky (D-IN)–Henry Waxman (D-CA)–Anthony Weiner (D-NY)–Curt Weldon (R-PA)–and Frank Wolf (R-VA).

Support for the letter is expected to grow considerably–as the Armenian American community continues its grassroots campaign to urge legislators to become signatories. The ANCA launched a WebFax campaign last week–which calls on House Members to speak out on a number of Genocide reaffirmation initiatives including this letter–as well as urging Speaker Hastert to schedule a vote on the Genocide resolution–H.Res. 193. That legislation was unanimously adopted by the House Judiciary Committee and currently has 110 cosponsors. Activists are also asking their Representatives to co-host the 10th Annual Armenian Genocide Observance on Capitol Hill–which currently has the support of over 85 Senators and Representatives.

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