ANCA Townhall featuring Schiff, Sherman and Pallone Discusses Genocide Bill

HOLLYWOOD, CA – Congressional Armenian Genocide Resolution lead author Adam Schiff (D-CA) was joined by Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), senior House Foreign Affairs Committee member Brad Sherman (D-CA), and ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian on a the ANCA’s March 28th nationally televised Townhall meeting devoted to discussing the ongoing drive toward the adoption of the Armenian Genocide Resolution by the full U.S. House of Representatives.

“We would like to thank Representatives Schiff, Sherman and Pallone for joining with us in addressing the Armenian American community’s growing frustration that our government, which is led today, in both the legislative and executive branches, by elected officials who came into office pledging to recognize the Armenian Genocide, and has failed to end Turkey’s gag rule on the proper commemoration of this crime against humanity,” said ANC-WR Chairwoman Aida Dimejian.  “In this hotly contested election season, in which every vote will surely count, we will, as a community, work to ensure that each of our votes is earned by the candidates seeking our support through results, not rhetoric.”

The 90-minute townhall forum was televised live from Horizon studios in Hollywood, California, and was broadcast live on Horizon Television and ARTN. It was also streamed online on the ANCA website, Horizon Armenian Television and Hairenik News sites. Presentations were made by the panelists, followed by over an hour-long question and answer session. Dozens of questions were submitted online before and during the townhall. Answers to questions which were not answered during the live townhall will be posted on the ANCA’s facebook page in the coming week.

Introduced in March of 2009 by lead sponsors Adam Schiff and George Radanovich (R-CA), and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), H.Res.252 currently has 141 cosponsors. A parallel Senate measure, spearheaded by Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and John Ensign (R-NV), has 14 cosponsors. The Armenian Genocide resolution calls upon the President to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide.

On March 4th, despite an intense campaign of threats by the Turkish government and last minute opposition from the Obama Administration, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) brought H.Res.252 up for a vote before his Committee. The measure was adopted with a vote of 23-22, opening the way for full House consideration of the resolution.

The ANCA is spearheading a national “End Turkey’s Gag Rule” campaign, urging the American government to reject Turkey’s attempts to silence international affirmation of the Armenian Genocide.  For more information, visit http://www.anca.org/endthegagrule.  

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