Both local congressional members are supporting a call for the United States to give official recognition to the Armenian genocide of 1915.
Congressman Adam Schiff of Glendale, who represents a large number of Armenian-Americans in his district, has become the point man in the effort to get official recognition for the deaths which began in 1915, and were blamed on the Ottoman Empire.
This year he has a record number of co-sponsors, some 150, including the leader of the Republican delegation from California, David Dreier.
In the past, the Republican Congressional leadership has bottled up the matter, to avoid putting President George Bush on the spot with U.S ally Turkey. This year, with Democrats in control of both houses, the likelihood of success is greater.
Schiff was joined at a news conference by the original co-sponsors of the resolution Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), George Radanovich (R-CA) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) and Genocide survivors Mrs. Rose Baboyan and Mrs. Sirarpi Khoyan, who recently turned 100 years old.
"The United States has a compelling historical and moral reason to recognize the Armenian Genocide, which cost a million and a half people their lives," said Schiff. "But we also have a powerful contemporary reason as well â€” how can we take effective action against the genocide in Darfur if we lack the will to condemn genocide whenever and wherever it occurs? With the new leadership in Congress, I am hopeful we can finally get this resolution passed."
"The Affirmation of the U.S. Record on the Armenian Genocide" resolution has bipartisan support from of over 150 members of the House of Representatives. It calls on the president to "ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding" of the "Armenian Genocide" and to "accurately characterize the systematic and deliberate annihilation of 1,500,000 Armenians as genocide."
The resolution also has the support of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), the Armenian Assembly of America (AAA), and US-Armenia Public Affairs Committee (USAPAC).
A total of 38 Republican members have signed on as co-sponsors, including Dreier, and 39 members of the House delegation from California.
â€” Charles Cooper