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Over 100 US Representatives call on President Biden to recognize Armenian Genocide

April 21, 2021

A bipartisan group of 107 US House members has called on President Biden to “clearly and directly recognize the Armenian Genocide” in his upcoming April 24 statement, ending Turkey’s foreign gag-rule against honest US remembrance of this crime, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

“We thank Congressman Schiff, his colleagues in the leadership of the Armenian Caucus and all those who co-signed this bipartisan call upon President Biden to end the longest lasting foreign gag-rule in American history,” said ANCA executive director Aram Hamparian. “By joining with the US Senate and House in condemning and commemorating the Armenian Genocide, the White House can, this week, mark the end of a shameful era of American complicity in Ankara’s denials – dealing a major setback to Turkey’s century-long obstruction of justice for this crime.”

“Looking ahead, US recognition must inspire and inform US policy challenging Turkey’s longstanding denials and confronting its ongoing anti-Armenian aggression,” added Hamparian.

Members of Congress co-signed a letter to President Biden spearheaded by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and the Congressional Armenian Caucus leadership.  The letter cites President Biden’s decades of efforts to reset U.S. policy on the Armenian Genocide. “We know that this is an issue you are well acquainted with from your time in the Senate and as Vice President, including shepherding S.J.Res. 212 (designating April 24, 1990, as a National Day of Remembrance of the 75th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide) through the Judiciary Committee in 1989. We also appreciate that as Vice President you attended the centenary anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in 2015 at the National Cathedral. It was during the centennial that His Holiness Pope Francis at Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica said this about the Armenian Genocide: “concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it.”

Upon sending the letter, Rep. Schiff explained, “During his candidacy, President Biden made a promise that he would officially recognize the Armenian Genocide, a promise in line with his decades of leadership on human rights issues. That’s why I joined with so many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to urge him to keep that promise, and in doing so, right decades of wrongs. The word ‘genocide’ is significant because genocide is not a problem of the past – it is a problem of today. And by speaking the truth about this horrific period of history, refusing to be silent, and calling it a genocide, we can ensure that the United States is never again complicit.”

On Tuesday, Rep. Schiff took to the House floor to share a powerful open letter to President Biden.

Armenian Caucus Co-Chair David Valadao noted, “Formal recognition of the Armenian genocide is long overdue in the United States where so many Armenian-Americans continue to feel the pain of this tragedy,” said Congressman Valadao. “I urge President Biden to formally honor those affected by this atrocity and offer the Armenian-American community this validation they deserve.”

Joining Rep. Schiff and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), and David Valadao in cosigning the Congressional letter to President Biden are Representatives:  Colin Allred (D-TX), Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Karen Bass (D-CA), Don Beyer (D-VA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-GA), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Joaquín Castro (D-TX), Judy Chu (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Jim Cooper (D-TN), Jim Costa (D-CA), Charlie Crist (D-FL), Jason Crow (D-CO), Danny Davis (D-IL), Madeleine Dean (D-PA), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Mike Doyle (D-PA), Veronica Escobar (D-TX), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Lois Frankel (D-FL), John Garamendi (D-CA), Mike Garcia (R-CA), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Josh Harder (D-CA), Jim Himes (D-CT), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Sara Jacobs (D-CA), David Joyce (R-OH), Richie Himes (D-CT), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Young Kim (R-CA), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Douglas Lamborn (R-CO), James Langevin (D-RI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Andy Levin (D-MI), Mike Levin (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Betty McCollum (D-MN), James McGovern (D-MA), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Grace Meng (D-NY), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Joe Neguse (D-CO), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Jay Obernolte (R-CA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Edwin Perlmutter (D-CO), Scott Peters (D-CA), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), John Sarbanes (D-MD), “Mary Gay,  Scanlon (D-PA)”, Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Brad Schneider (D-IL), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Greg Stanton (D-AZ), Michelle Steel (R-CA), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Dina Titus (D-NV), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Norma Torres (D-CA), Lori Trahan (D-MA), David Trone (D-MD), Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Ann Wagner (R-MO), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), and Susan Wild (D-PA).