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house Bill H. Res. 296

Should the House Call for the U.S. Government to Officially Recognize the Armenian Genocide?

Argument in favor

The Turkish government’s continued denial of the Armenian genocide constitutes a “second killing.” Denying the Armenian genocide creates regional tension, ignores history, and makes it impossible to learn from the lessons of history. For these reasons, the House should express its sense that it should be official U.S. policy to recognize the genocide and educate Americans about it.

jimK's Opinion
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10/29/2019
Turkey is no ally of the United States. Their actions confirm this as does there snubbing of NATO alliance members by welcoming Russian anti-missile tech and Russian support in their efforts to wipe out our day-to-day working allies, the Syrian Kurds. Syrian Kurd’s enlisted an ISIS operative to infiltrate Al Baghdadi’s organization and memorize details of the compound’s layout, body guard locations and ISIS patrols - and provide information of Baghdadi’s arrival to our special forces which enabled their raid of the compound. Our raid depended upon this information. The special forces were put at increased risk due to trump’s ill-advised, unexpected evacuation of US troops and the lack of safe cover for ingress and egress. This information was provided even after trump left our allies to be slaughtered by Al-Quida mercenaries employed by the Turks. The raid would have been much less-likely to have even occurred without Kurdish intel. And our supposed Turkish ‘ally’ is left to attack our day-to-day, hand-in-hand allies and force them to leave their ancestral homelands, you know our allies who were responsible for recovering all ISIS occupied territories and for neutralizing the ISIS threat. Screw Turkey! Sanction the piss out of them, resolve to call out their prior Armenian genocide, highlight their current attempt at Kurdish genocide, boot their asses out of NATO. They have been actively working against NATO by inviting Russia into the mix; you know, that Russia whose aggression for gaining middle European territories was the whole defining reason that NATO was created and even still exists.
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Jennifer's Opinion
···
10/29/2019
The Turkish government’s continued denial of the Armenian genocide constitutes a “second killing.” Denying the Armenian genocide creates regional tension, ignores history, and makes it impossible to learn from the lessons of history. For these reasons, the House should express its sense that it should be official U.S. policy to recognize the genocide and educate Americans about it.
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larubia's Opinion
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10/29/2019
Armenian and now the Kurds! Turkey has done all they can to commit genocide. This time with the help of Russia & our very own president.
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Argument opposed

The Turkish government — which is a key U.S. and Western ally in the Middle East — denies the characterization of Armenians’ deaths over the period 1915 to the early 1920s as genocide. It argues that calling it a “genocide” draws a false comparison to the Nazi Holocaust. Passing this resolution would anger Turkey, jeopardizing an important alliance the U.S. needs.

Danny's Opinion
···
10/29/2019
Stay out of UN business. Work on America’s problems like homeless veterans care California poor decisions on forest management mental illness. We have problems you were elected to solve yet nothing has been done by congress. The only progress this country has had is from the hard work of our president.
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NoHedges's Opinion
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10/29/2019
Pass the resolution when there is the executive leadership to support and ensure change. In the meantime... Reestablish and fully fund the program, known as Predict, a global health innovative run by the United States Agency for International Development, before jumping into the Armenian Genocide. The Predict initiative has collected over 140,000 biological samples from animals and found over 1,000 new viruses, including a new strain of Ebola. Predict also trained about 5,000 people in 30 African and Asian countries, and has built or strengthened 60 medical research laboratories, mostly in poor countries. Apparently, “things got complicated in the last two years, and by January, Predict was essentially collapsed into hibernation.” Well, uncomplicated things and fully fund the damn program⁉️ Failing to do so, especially at a time when so many Americans lack healthcare, is negligence. What our legislators seemed have forgotten -probably since they have never gone without healthcare- is that without a comprehensive NATIONAL healthcare plan THIS NATION’s health security will remain dependent on that of other countries, often countries that have no capacity to do this themselves, 🎯Without a national healthcare plan the potential impact from any pandemics stand to destroy our entire nation. You were elected to help more Americans with their healthcare struggles, failing to fund a program specifically designed to predict potential pandemics would definitely qualify as a healthcare struggle. So fund the damn program⁉️And do your damn job instead of manufacturing meaningless resolutions, which we have no way of supporting under of current leadership.
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Bonnie's Opinion
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10/28/2019
The timing of this is just so diabolical. It has nothing to do with what it appears to be about. After a century, why now? Because Schiff and his posse cannot anything status quo. They will do anything to rock the Trump ship. Yet Schiff is so incompetent at whatever he does
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What is House Bill H. Res. 296?

This resolution would express the sense of the House of Representatives that it’s the United States’ policy to commemorate the Armenian genocide through official recognition and remembrance. It would also reject efforts to enlist, engage, or otherwise associate the U.S. government with denial of the Armenian Genocide or any other genocide. Finally, it would encourage education about and public understanding of the genocide’s facts, including the U.S. role in the humanitarian relief effort and the Armenian genocide’s relevance to modern-day crimes against humanity.

As a simple resolution, this legislation is non-binding and wouldn’t advance beyond the House if passed.

Impact

Armenian genocide education, remembrance, and commemoration; the House of Representatives; U.S.-Turkey relations; and Turkey.

Cost of House Bill H. Res. 296

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) introduced this resolution to recognize the genocide against the Armenian people by the Ottoman empire, reject efforts to enlist the U.S. government in denial of genocide, and encourage education about the Armenian genocide and the United States’ unprecedented relief efforts in its aftermath

“Over 100 years ago, the Ottoman Empire undertook a brutal campaign of murder, rape, and displacement against the Armenian people that took the lives of 1.5 million men, women, and children in the first genocide of the 20th century. Genocide is not a relic of the past, but an ever present threat. Its denial is not only a continuing injury to the survivors, but makes its repetition against another people more likely. It is therefore all the more pressing that the Congress recognize the historical fact of the Armenian Genocide and make clear that we will never be an accomplice to denial." 

At the Capitol Hill Armenian Genocide Observance, Rep. Schiff said

“No one needs to explain to Jews or Armenians how hurtful it is when people deny genocide. It is a contemporary injury. It is therefore so important that we not view this in its mere historical context, as important as that is, but as a present injury, a contemporary injury that Elie Wiesel described as a 'second killing.' There is a moral imperative here that should give us a sense of urgency."

Original cosponsor Rep. Gus Bilrakis (R-FL) adds

“Genocide must not be denied. It must be acknowledged for what it is—a scourge on humanity. Official recognition of the Armenian Genocide would represent a courageous new chapter in American foreign policy. With the bold leadership of the current Administration, it is time for the United States to take a stand against Turkish genocide denial.”

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), sponsor of the Senate version of this resolution, says

“As we near the anniversary of Armenian Remembrance Day, one of the darkest events in human history, I am proud to lead this effort to formally recognize the Armenian Genocide on behalf of the U.S. Congress.  The Armenian genocide is a historical fact and not up for debate. Only by accurately recognizing this genocide of the past can we ever hope to move forward in a legitimate and effective manner to meet the challenge of preventing mass atrocities and genocide in the future. With this resolution, we honor the millions of victims of this genocide, remember how they died and pledge that history accurately remember their deaths.”

The Armenian Assembly of America supports this resolution. Its executive director, Bryan Ardouny, notes the role that the U.S. played in helping genocide survivors: 

“This resolution highlights a proud chapter in American history, where, thanks to America’s unprecedented humanitarian intervention, thousands and thousands of survivors of the Armenian Genocide were saved in what U.S. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau described as a ‘campaign of race extermination’ and what Major General James G. Harbord - who served as General John J. Pershing’s Chief of Staff during World War I and led an American Military Mission to Armenia - reported from the USS Martha Washington that the ‘[m]utilation, violation, torture and death have left their haunting memories in a hundred beautiful Armenian valleys, and the traveler in that region is seldom free from the evidence of this most colossal crime of all the ages.”

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA)’s executive director, Aram Hamparian, praises this bill’s codification of education about the Armenian genocide: 

“All who oppose genocide welcome… legislation locking-in U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide and – once and for all – locking-out Turkish denials of this crime. This bipartisan measure – spearheaded by Representatives Adam Schiff and Gus Bilirakis – also permanently locks down – as official U.S. policy – that future generations should be educated about the facts of this crime, America’s noble relief efforts for its victims, and – most urgently – the relevance of the Armenian Genocide to modern-day crimes against humanity.”

The Turkish government acknowledges that hundreds of thousands of Armenians died over the time period that historians refer to as the Armenian genocide. However, it disputes suggestions that the deaths were part of a deliberate program to eliminate the Armenian population, and suggests that many Armenians died of disease. It also suggests that casualties may have been inflated, and points out that many Turks died at Armenians’ hands. Turkish officials insist that describing these events as a “genocide” falsely equates it with the Nazi Holocaust.

This legislation has 117 bipartisan House cosponsors, including 101 Democrats and 16 Republicans. Its Senate companion, sponsored by Sen. Bob Mendendez (D-NJ), has 19 bipartisan Senate cosponsors, including 15 Democrats, three Republicans, and one Independent. The Armenian Assembly of America and the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) support this resolution. 

This is the ninth time — once for every Congress since his election — that Rep. Schiff has introduced legislation to commemorate the Armenian genocide. In 2007, Rep. Schiff’s legislation had 212 cosponsors and nearly passed on the House floor.


Of NoteThe Armenian Genocide of 1915 was the killing of millions of Armenians by the Turks of the Ottoman Empire. In 1915, during World War I, Turkish government leaders put together a plan to expel and massacre Armenians. By the time the massacres and deportations finally ended in the early 1920s, somewhere from 600,000 to 1.5 million Armenians were dead and many more had been forcibly removed from the country. 

While most historians call this event a genocide, the Turkish government still doesn’t acknowledge its enormity or scope. Within Turkey’s borders, it’s illegal to talk about what happened to Armenians during this era. Turkey denies that a genocide occurred, and pressures other countries — including the U.S. — to follow its lead. Because Turkey is an important ally to the West in the Middle East, Western governments have been reluctant to condemn the Armenian genocide.

Rep. Schiff notes that Turkey has exercised its relationship with the U.S. to veto recognition of the Armenian genocide by the U.S. government. He criticizes this as a historical practice, and adds that it’s farcical in light of Turkey’s recent slide into authoritarianism:

“For far too long, Turkey has been allowed to exercise a veto on the U.S. government's recognition of the genocide. That has always been outrageous, but as Turkey sinks into dictatorship, purchases Russian missile defense systems, and even assaults Americans on our soil, it is simply a farce. It must end.”

In a letter to his Congressional colleagues seeking cosponsors for this resolution, Rep. Schiff argued that Turkey’s denial of the Armenian genocide is “a source of continued regional tension” that undermines the foundations of a durable peace that would serve U.S. interests and national seucrity. He concludes, “Official recognition of the Armenian Genocide can help open a new chapter in United States foreign policy.”

Rep. Schiff’s home state of California has taken the lead on educating Americans about the Armenian genocide. In 2014, then-Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1915, which requires California high school social studies and history curricula to to cover the topic.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / NickolayV)

AKA

Affirming the United States record on the Armenian Genocide.

Official Title

Affirming the United States record on the Armenian Genocide.

simple resolution Progress


  • The house Passed October 29th, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 405 Yea / 11 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedApril 8th, 2019

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    Turkey is no ally of the United States. Their actions confirm this as does there snubbing of NATO alliance members by welcoming Russian anti-missile tech and Russian support in their efforts to wipe out our day-to-day working allies, the Syrian Kurds. Syrian Kurd’s enlisted an ISIS operative to infiltrate Al Baghdadi’s organization and memorize details of the compound’s layout, body guard locations and ISIS patrols - and provide information of Baghdadi’s arrival to our special forces which enabled their raid of the compound. Our raid depended upon this information. The special forces were put at increased risk due to trump’s ill-advised, unexpected evacuation of US troops and the lack of safe cover for ingress and egress. This information was provided even after trump left our allies to be slaughtered by Al-Quida mercenaries employed by the Turks. The raid would have been much less-likely to have even occurred without Kurdish intel. And our supposed Turkish ‘ally’ is left to attack our day-to-day, hand-in-hand allies and force them to leave their ancestral homelands, you know our allies who were responsible for recovering all ISIS occupied territories and for neutralizing the ISIS threat. Screw Turkey! Sanction the piss out of them, resolve to call out their prior Armenian genocide, highlight their current attempt at Kurdish genocide, boot their asses out of NATO. They have been actively working against NATO by inviting Russia into the mix; you know, that Russia whose aggression for gaining middle European territories was the whole defining reason that NATO was created and even still exists.
    Like (101)
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    Stay out of UN business. Work on America’s problems like homeless veterans care California poor decisions on forest management mental illness. We have problems you were elected to solve yet nothing has been done by congress. The only progress this country has had is from the hard work of our president.
    Like (17)
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    The Turkish government’s continued denial of the Armenian genocide constitutes a “second killing.” Denying the Armenian genocide creates regional tension, ignores history, and makes it impossible to learn from the lessons of history. For these reasons, the House should express its sense that it should be official U.S. policy to recognize the genocide and educate Americans about it.
    Like (32)
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    Armenian and now the Kurds! Turkey has done all they can to commit genocide. This time with the help of Russia & our very own president.
    Like (23)
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    There is no question that the genocide occurred, and it must be recognized. Those responsible should be treated and tried for this genocide as occurred after Hitler was defeated. Whether or not a trial will occur, we still must recognize the genocide that occurred and add it to the history books so it is never forgotten. Any genocide of a group of people must be recognized and added to history books and records. The genocide of any people must never be forgotten.
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    I do support recognizing the Armenian Genocide, although I wonder if we're doing this now just to continue irritating Turkey. It's important to speak out about atrocities such as this, especially since it was rooted in religious intolerance.
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    Pass the resolution when there is the executive leadership to support and ensure change. In the meantime... Reestablish and fully fund the program, known as Predict, a global health innovative run by the United States Agency for International Development, before jumping into the Armenian Genocide. The Predict initiative has collected over 140,000 biological samples from animals and found over 1,000 new viruses, including a new strain of Ebola. Predict also trained about 5,000 people in 30 African and Asian countries, and has built or strengthened 60 medical research laboratories, mostly in poor countries. Apparently, “things got complicated in the last two years, and by January, Predict was essentially collapsed into hibernation.” Well, uncomplicated things and fully fund the damn program⁉️ Failing to do so, especially at a time when so many Americans lack healthcare, is negligence. What our legislators seemed have forgotten -probably since they have never gone without healthcare- is that without a comprehensive NATIONAL healthcare plan THIS NATION’s health security will remain dependent on that of other countries, often countries that have no capacity to do this themselves, 🎯Without a national healthcare plan the potential impact from any pandemics stand to destroy our entire nation. You were elected to help more Americans with their healthcare struggles, failing to fund a program specifically designed to predict potential pandemics would definitely qualify as a healthcare struggle. So fund the damn program⁉️And do your damn job instead of manufacturing meaningless resolutions, which we have no way of supporting under of current leadership.
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    We should be ashamed of the political quandary that we have been put in that causes us to publicly express this. We have to do this though, in order to allow the world to know that we do not support aligning our country with nationalists or dictatorships. I know that this is not the common sentiment in the grand ol’ party right now but that doesn’t mean that we are all falling for the present ideology. Align yourself with your fellow Americans and support truth.
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    Fail to recognize, doomed to repeat
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    We should recognize the Armenian genocide now. The Turkish government’s continued denial of the Armenian genocide constitutes a “second killing.” Denying the Armenian genocide creates regional tension, ignores history, and makes it impossible to learn from the lessons of history. For these reasons, the House should express its sense that it should be official U.S. policy to recognize the genocide and educate Americans about it. Sneaky Pete. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 10.29.19
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    We need to recognize all genocides and any other atrocities taking place around the world.
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    No brainer. And yes. They should. And the Senate should recognize it as well.
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    It's way overdue! This should have been recognized years ago!! Too many died and too many have suffered. I'm shocked to hear that our government is just getting around to acknowledging this atrocity!!!
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    It’s time to acknowledge the Armenian genocide. Perhaps the overdue attention to the lessons of history will prevail and avert another tragedy in the region. May I further suggest future legislation acknowledging the Holodomor in Ukraine with the same goal? Extermination by diversion of food supplies or by withholding life saving military aid through an extortion scheme is morally reprehensible. History doesn’t repeat, yet it often rhymes.
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    About time!!!!! Islam did not even exist until 700 years after Christ. Islam has taken over the Christian and pagan traditions in the middle east through violent force! They almost eradicated Hinduism when they were the Mughal empire. The marathi Indian warriors took back some of India before all her holy sites were destroyed. Islam almost took over europe when it was the ottoman empire. Look up the real history of Dracula and Michael the brave and the long line of people that had to fight endlessly to hold back the invasion! During the barbary piracy wars Islam enslaved millions of black north Africans and whites until the us and Britain put an end to it. They nearly destroyed all the Armenians! They are, TODAY, killing off the last of the indigenous dark skinned coptic Christians of Egypt! Yet illhan omar and others would have us believe they have some right to all these many lands they have taken by force! They do not even acknowledge their crimes! So yes! Yes! Affirm that the armeniam genocide is just as very real as the holocaust!!!!!!
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    Truth may hurt, but falsehoods hurt even worse. Protect the truth. Law & Order, and historical facts should be based upon truth.
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    I grew up with survivors, and children of survivors of the Armenian genocide. I personally know their stories. Official recognition of the Armenian Genocide by every country in the world including Turkey is long overdue.
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    You either stand for something or you stand for nothing. Yes the government should officially recognize the situation. Further it should be put before the United Nations.
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    What is happening right here in the US feels like a genocide. Right now a American hero with a Purple Heart like Lt. Col. Vindman is being trashed by despicable Laura Ingraham, John Voo and Brian Kilmeade. The same people complained about kneeling during the anthem disrespects our troops. Pete hope you and your Notre Dame alumni's are quaking in your boots with shame. Impeach Trump before more damage can be done by his clown show
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    No one should be allowed to rewrite history. We must learn from what has happened, and become better people.
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