Record Number of Senators Call on President Bush to Properly Characterize Armenian Genocide

32 Senators–led by Senators Corzine and Ensign–to be joined by over 175 representatives in urging the President to honor his pledge

WASHINGTON–DC (ANCA)–Senators Jon Corzine (D-NJ) and John Ensign (R-NV) were joined by thirty of their Senate colleagues on Tuesday–urging President Bush to reaffirm "the United States record on the Armenian Genocide" by properly characterizing that crime against humanity as "genocide" in his annual April 24 statement.

This move comes on the eve of the international community’s commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the centrally planned and systematically executed massacre of over 1.5 million Armenia’s. A similar letter in the US House–signed by more than 175 Representatives–will soon be sent to the White House.

"Armenian Americans–from New Jersey to Nevada and around the nation–thank Senators Corzine and Ensign for their leadership in securing a record level of Senate support for the annual letter urging President Bush to honor his pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide," said Aram Hamparian–Executive Director of the ANCA. "Along with thirty of their Senate colleagues–they have sent a powerful signal to the White House that the American government should–once and for all–end its complicity in Turkey’s shameful campaign to deny its crime against the Armenian nation."

In the April 18 letter to President Bush–the Senators noted–"The memory of the Armenian Genocide underscores our responsibility to help convey our cherished tradition of respect for fundamental human rights and opposition to mass slaughters. It is in the best interests of our nation and the entire global community to remember the past and learn from these crimes against humanity to ensure that they are never repeated." The Senators continue with a clear request of the President–stating–"We respectfully request that you refer to the mass slaughter of Armenia’s as genocide in your commemorative statement."

Senate support for the letter this year jumped nearly 50% over the level of support for a similar letter in 2004–which garnered 22 cosigners. House support for a similar initiative also increased this year–with over 175 Representatives pledged to sign the Congressional letter to President Bush initiated by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI). Last year’s House letter was signed by 169 Representatives.

Senators cosigning the letter to President Bush included: Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)–Senate Democratic Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL)–Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairwoman Susan Collins (R-ME)–Small Business Committee Chairperson Olympia Snowe (R-ME)–Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Democrat Joe Biden (D-DE)–Armed Services Committee Ranking Democrat Carl Levin (D-MI)–Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Ranking Member Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)–Banking Committee Ranking Democrat Paul Sarbanes (D-MD)–Rules Committee Ranking Member Christopher Dodd (D-CT)–Small Business Committee Ranking Democrat John Kerry (D-MA)–Environment and Public Works James Jeffords (I-VT)–Health–Education and Labor Committee Ranking Democrat Edward Kennedy (D-MA)–George Allen (R-VA)–Barbara Boxer (D-CA)–Sam Brownback (R-KS)–Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)–Norm Coleman (R-MN)–Jon Corzine (D-NJ)–Elizabeth Dole (R-NC)–John Ensign (R-NV)–Russell Feingold (D-WI)–Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)–Tim Johnson (D-SD)–Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)–Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)–Patty Murray (D-WA)–Barack Obama (D-IL)–Jack Reed (D-RI)–Rick Santorum (R-PA)–Charles Schumer (D-NY)–Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)–and John Sununu (R-NH).

The initiative was led by Senators Corzine and Ensign–who coauthored the Genocide resolution (S.Res.164) in the 108th Congress–which marked the 15th anniversary of the US implementation of the Genocide Convention.


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