Updated: Jul 16, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) requested unanimous consent to consider S.Res.150, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly). The Armenian Genocide resolution was introduced in April, and enjoys the bipartisan support of 28 Senators.
“I will not cease until we do what is morally and principally right – and that is to recognize the Armenian Genocide as a host of other nations have already done,” stated Senator Menendez, who also pledged to come to the floor once a week to request unanimous consent to consider S.Res.150.
“It was an atrocious genocide. That it happened is a fact and an undeniable reality,” Senator Cruz remarked. “I believe in the coming days and weeks we will get this passed,” he added.
“We commend Senators Menendez and Cruz who have persistently advocated for passage of the Armenian Genocide resolution, and continue to do the right thing in calling for official recognition and remembrance, as well as encourage education and public understanding of the Armenian Genocide,” Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny stated.
Regrettably, the request for unanimous consent was objected to by Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) at the request of the Administration.
Senator Cramer said “I support the spirit of this resolution,” yet he stated that now is not the right time because of bilateral diplomatic discussions between the United States and Turkey.
In response, Senator Menendez noted: “There is never a good time. But in my view, there is always the right time, however, to recognize genocide as genocide.”
Senator Cramer disclosed that the acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide was a topic of conversation between President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the NATO summit this week in London. Fifteen member nations of NATO have already recognized the Armenian Genocide.
“Given Senator Cramer’s stated support for Holocaust Education legislation that passed the Senate last month and his past co-sponsorship of the Armenian Genocide legislation in the last Congress, his objection is more than ironic as it contradicts the stated purpose of S.Res.150 and undermines the important need for genocide and human rights education,” stated Armenian Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. “The Armenian Genocide resolution calls for education to prevent genocide, and reminds us of the proud chapter in U.S. history when America’s diplomatic corps and humanitarian intervention helped save countless lives. This proud chapter should be highlighted, not obscured at the behest of a foreign government.”
Upon passage of the Holocaust Education Legislation, Senator Cramer stated: “We must never forget those who perished in the Holocaust and we must always work to ensure that knowledge, tolerance, and reason are ever present in the face of ignorance and rising anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of intolerance and hate.”
Senator Cramer represents the State of North Dakota, which adopted a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide on January 3, 2007. The resolution notes: “It is essential to raise awareness about the Armenian genocide not only because it is an undeniable chapter of world history, but also because learning more about this unconscionable tragedy will help better understand the necessity of eliminating hatred from our own communities.”
S.Res.150 states it is the sense of the Senate that it is the policy of the United States: to commemorate the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and remembrance; to reject efforts to enlist, engage, or otherwise associate the United States Government with denial of the Armenian Genocide or any other genocide; and to encourage education and public understanding of the facts of the Armenian Genocide, including the role of the United States in humanitarian relief efforts, and the relevance of the Armenian Genocide to modern-day crimes against humanity.
Senators Menendez and Cruz are joined by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Edward Markey (D-MA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Jack Reed (D-RI), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tom Udall (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) in co-sponsoring S.Res.150.
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.