WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Howard Berman (D-CA), a leading Congressional supporter of human rights and a longstanding friend of the Armenian American community, has scheduled a vote of his panel on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.252, for Thursday, March 4th, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
The resolution, which was introduced in Congress back in March 2009, ‘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, and for other purposes.”
Further in the findings section of the resolution we read the following: “The Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed, 500,000 survivors were expelled from their homes, and which succeeded in the elimination of the over 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland.”
The House Foreign Affairs Committee adopted legislation similar to H.Res.252, on a bipartisan basis, in 2000, 2005, and 2007. These past measures, despite their broad-based support, did not reach the House floor for an up or down vote, largely due to strident opposition from the Clinton and Bush administrations fearful of Ankara’s threats of retaliation.
President Obama, during his campaign for office, pledged to recognize the Armenian Genocide and specifically voiced his strong support for this exact legislation; his Vice President, Joe Biden, and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, both cosponsored this measure. Since taking office, the Obama Administration has yet to make any comments, either favorably or unfavorably, on the Armenian Genocide Resolution currently before Congress.