WASHINGTON, DC — the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved on Thursday S.Res. 410, affirming the U.S. Record on the Armenian Genocide. In addition to the Armenian Genocide resolution, a bill commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide was also adopted.
The resolution approved by a vote of 12 to 5 says the World War One-era extermination of some 1.5 million Armenians and forcible displacement of 500,000 others resulted in “the elimination of the over 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland.”
It also says that President Obama should ensure that U.S. foreign policy “reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide.”
S. Res. 410, the Armenian Genocide resolution, was introduced by Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a long-time champion of Armenian issues and powerful voice for justice, along with Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), who previously served as Co-Chair of the Armenian Caucus during his tenure in the House of Representatives. In addition to Menendez and Kirk, the resolution was cosponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Edward Markey (D-MA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Richard Durbin (D-IL).
Senators voting in favor of the resolution were Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Richard Durbin (D-IL), John McCain (R-AZ), Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Edward Markey (D-MA). Senators voting against were Ranking Member Bob Corker (R-TN), James Risch (R-ID), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and John Barrasso (R-WY). Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) was not present.