10.12.06

House and Senate Pass Legislation to Block U.S. Aid for an Armenia Railroad Bypass

Washington, D.C. – Representative Adam Schiff, a leading cosponsor of bipartisan legislation that will block U.S. taxpayer funding for a proposed railroad between Turkey and Georgia that would circumvent Armenia and undermine the economic viability of the existing Caucasus railroad route through Armenia, commended the Senate on recently passing companion legislation.  The legislation will now be sent the President to be signed into law.

“This is a common sense measure aimed at saving the American tax-payers money and also protects the Armenian economy,” Schiff said.  “It makes no sense to build a completely new railroad when the Caucasus railroad route through Armenia is a functional alternative.  This bill will prevent Turkey and Azerbaijan in its attempt to exclude Armenia from participating in the region’s economy.”

The House took action on this measure first back in July when it passed an amendment supported by Rep. Schiff to the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization bill.  Following the House’s lead, the Senate passed a similar amendment to the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization bill on the last legislative day before the Senate recessed for the month of October.  The amendment was based on the South Caucacus Integration and Open Railroads Act which Rep. Schiff cosponsored in the House. 

Congressman Adam Schiff is a member of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues.  He represents California's 29th Congressional District, including the communities of Alhambra, Altadena, Burbank, Glendale, Griffith Park, Monterey Park, Pasadena, San Gabriel, South Pasadena, and Temple City.