On President Biden’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide:
“For Armenian-Americans and everyone who believes in human rights and the truth, the recognition of the Armenian Genocide marks a historic milestone. The President of the United States has at long last recognized the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians for what it was – the first genocide of the 20th century. In so doing, he has cast aside decades of shameful silence and half-truths, and the broken promises of so many of his predecessors and spoken truth to power.
“The President, the Congress, and the American people now speak with one voice: We will never again be silenced, and we will never forget.”
– Rep. Adam Schiff
Rep. Adam Schiff has long represented the largest Armenian diasporas in the country and serves as Vice Chair of the Congressional Armenian Caucus. For decades, he has fought side-by-side with his Armenian American constituents for the recognition of their history, as survivors of the first genocide of the 20th century, and for the protection of their future and the futures of their families and loved ones working for freedom abroad.
Recognizing and Commemorating the Armenian Genocide
Adam has been the leading advocate in Congress for Armenian Genocide recognition, working tirelessly to convince his colleagues, presidents of both parties, and the American people of the importance of formal recognition.
In October 2019, the House voted decisively to recognize the Armenian Genocide, passing Adam’s resolution with vigorous bipartisan support. The Senate followed suit in December 2019, supporting the resolution with overwhelming bipartisan support. By passing Adam’s bill, the Congress formally declared that it will no longer be complicit in the shameful denial of this crime against humanity. Adam fought for nearly two decades to pass this critical legislation, with dedicated support and work from tens of thousands of Armenian-American constituents, historians, human rights advocates, and activists.
In the days leading up to the 106th anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide, Adam delivered an open letter to President Biden from the floor of the House of Representatives, calling for his formal recognition of this atrocity. And after so many long years of silence, President Biden answered that call, joining Congress in issuing a somber and unequivocal recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
Leading the Fight for Aid to Armenia and Artsakh
As an ex officio member of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees American foreign assistance, Adam has made assistance to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh a top priority. As Turkey’s illegal blockade of Armenia and waves of Azerbaijani aggression have devastated the economic security and sovereignty of Armenia and Artsakh, Adam recognizes the vitality of U.S. assistance to these nations as crucial to maintaining Armenia’s independence and continues to press for greater action by the Minsk Group to resolve the status of Artsakh. Adam has also advocated for humanitarian funding for Artsakh in order to demine civilian areas and improve regional security, and he will continue to fight for direct assistance from the United States.
Standing with Armenia in Ongoing Conflicts with Azerbaijan
Adam was the first Member of Congress to call for the formal U.S. recognition of the Independent Republic of Artsakh, because he firmly believes that the U.S. must not stand idly by as Azerbaijan and Turkey wage war on Artsakh. Azerbaijan, with assistance from Turkey, continues to threaten Armenia in an attempt to destabilize the nation and exert territorial control over Artsakh. After Turkish-backed Azeri troops attacked Artsakh and initiated a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Adam introduced a resolution calling for the release of Armenian prisoners of war. He has repeatedly spoken out about the human rights abuses perpetrated against Armenians by Azeri forces and is committed to achieving a peaceful resolution to the conflict that results in self-determination for the people of Artsakh.
Supporting the Democratic Revolution in Armenia
Adam has helped lead the effort to provide U.S. assistance with the purpose of developing Armenia’s democracy, deepening its democratic institutions, and fighting corruption. Since the 2018 Armenian Velvet Revolution, Armenia has experienced a rapid change with the conduct of free and fair parliamentary elections and a sweeping array of democratic reforms. Adam has helped to secure tens of millions of dollars that have strengthened Armenia’s democracy and reform institutions, and he will continue to work to ensure that Armenia’s democracy continues to flourish for generations to come.
Honoring Armenian Americans
In 2022, the federal government funding legislation included $950,000 in funding to support the construction and development of the Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center of California in downtown Glendale thanks to Adam’s work to honor Armenian Americans‘ contributions to our nation. He will continue to advocate for this important funding. Adam knows that Armenian-Americans are an essential part of the very fabric of our nation — enriching our customs, traditions, and communities, and that the Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center of California will ensure that story gets told for generations to come.
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