Armenian Genocide Legislation Scheduled for Committee Consideration

May be "Marked-Up" as Early as September 14

WASHINGTON–DC–Armenian Genocide legislation appears set to come before the influential House International Relations Committee as early as Wednesday–September 14th–reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

According to Congressional sources–Committee Chairman Henry Hyde (R-IL) is prepared to "mark-up" both Armenian Genocide Resolutions (H.Res.316 and H.Con.Res.195). During this mark-up session–the fifty members of the panel will have an opportunity to consider changes and then to vote to either approve or disapprove each measure.

"We want to thank Chairman Hyde for his leadership in ensuring that the members of his Committee have the opportunity to vote on Armenian Genocide legislation," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "Along with our local chapters around the nation and coalition partners here in Washington–DC–we are working hard to support the efforts of our friends– Congressmen George Radanovich–Adam Schiff–and Armenian Caucus Co-Chairmen Joe Knollenberg and Frank Pallone– in encouraging the Committee to act favorably on this legislation.

H.Res.316–which was introduced by Representatives George Radanovich (R-CA)–Adam Schiff (D-CA)–and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI)–calls upon the President to ensure US foreign policy reflects appropriate understanding of the Armenian Genocide. The resolution includes thirty detailed findings from past US hearings–resolutions and Presidential statemen’s–as well as references to statemen’s by international bodies and organizations. As of today–a bipartisan group of over one hundred and twelve Representatives have already agreed to cosponsor this measure.

H.Con.Res.195–introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff and cosponsored by over eighty Representatives–was offered following direct negotiations with House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde (R-IL). The Chairman agreed to Committee-level consideration of Armenian Genocide legislation in return for Rep. Schiff tabling a planned June 8 Armenian Genocide amendment to the House Foreign Relations Authorization bill. The agreement addressed serious concerns on the part of the Administration and Congressional leaders that the Schiff Amendment– which had strong prospects of passing–would overshadow the White House meeting–held that same day–between President Bush and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan. This measure–which is in the process of being amended–reaffirms the Armenian Genocide within the broader context of regional relationships and addresses Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union.

The Turkish Ambassador and his lobbyists–including the Livingston Group–are actively making the rounds to members of the International Relations Committee–seeking to block any action on US reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide. As part of this effort–the Livingston Group has been distributing a four-page genocide-denial document to Congressional offices.

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