Local Public Official Urges Leaders of His Own Party to Support Schiff Amendment

LOS ANGELES–Prominent Los Angeles attorney and Rolling Hills Estates City Councilmember Frank Zerunyan has issued an open letter to Congressional leaders urging them to end their opposition to the Schiff Amendment. The letter also strongly encourages the leadership to bring House Resolution 193 to a vote. "[Mr. Speaker] let the American people through their Representatives decide the fate of the resolution. Demonstrated to our allies the true meaning of Democracy. I expect this of you and the leadership in Congress," wrote Zerunyan.

The Schiff Amendment–which was passed voice vote on July 15–2004–would prevent the Republic of Turkey from spending US foreign aid dollars to lobby against legislation pending in Congress that recognizes the Armenian Genocide. One day after the Schiff amendment was successfully offered to the House Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2005–House Republican leaders issued a statement demanding that the [Schiff amendment] be dropped in conference. The leadership also threatened not to bring House Resolution 193 to a vote despite its popularity in the House of Representatives. The Resolution has more than 110 co-sponsors and was successfully voted out of the House Judiciary Committee on May 21–2003.

"Councilman Zerunyan’s open letter to Congressional leaders provides a thoughtful foundation for these very leaders to end their opposition to the Schiff amendment and House Resolution 193," commented ANCA-WR Executive Director Ardashes Kassakhian. "The Councilman’s words provide a compelling case for our many Republican friends in Congress to convince Speaker Hastert and Majority Leader DeLay to support the Schiff amendment and a vote on the resolution."

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices–chapters–and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world–the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

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