ANCA Shares Bush Report Card with Congressional Leaders

Armenian National Committee of America
888 17th St., NW, Suite 904
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: (202) 775-1918
Fax: (202) 775-5648
E-mail: [email protected]


April 15, 2004
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Tel: (202) 775-1918


— Letters to Speaker Hastert and
Majority Leader Frist Outline Specific
Armenian American Policy Concerns

— ANCA Chairman Praises Republican
Friends of Armenia in Congress

WASHINGTON, DC – In letters sent this week to Congressional
leaders, the Armenian National Committee Of America (ANCA) voiced
the disappointment of the Armenian American community over the Bush
Administration’s record on Armenian issues. In its correspondence,
the ANCA called for renewed efforts by the leadership of the
legislative branch to urge the White House to adopt more
constructive policies on issues of special concern to Armenian
American voters.

Included with the letters, signed by ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian
and sent to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and Senate Majority
Leader Bill Frist, were copies of the ANCA’s 2004 Armenian American
Presidential Report Card, which gave the President generally low
marks on a range of fifteen different Armenian American issues.
These issues, were grouped into three general categories, as

1) Unfulfilled commitments: Most notable among
the unfulfilled commitments were the President’s
failure to honor his campaign pledge in February
of 2000 to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide,
and his decision this February to abandon the 2001
White House agreement with both Congress and the
Armenian American community to maintain parity in
military aid to Armenia and Azerbaijan.

2) Opposition to community concerns: In terms
of active opposition to community concerns, we
have seen the White House block Congressional
legislation concerning the Armenian Genocide,
waive Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act,
propose reductions in U.S. aid to Armenia, and
mistakenly place Armenia on a Department of
Justice/INS terrorist watch list.

3) Failure to prioritize Armenian issues: The
Administration has failed to prioritize either
U.S.-Armenia ties or the White House’s relationship
with the Armenian American community. An example
of the former is the failure of the Administration
to take meaningful proactive steps to foster
increased U.S.-Armenia commercial relations, or
even to press Congress to move quickly to adopt
Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status for
Armenia. An example of the latter is that the
President has not invited the collective
leadership of the Armenian American community to
a meeting at the White House despite repeated
requests for such interaction.

Both the Senate and House letters included more than a dozen
specific recommendations by the ANCA about how the Congressional
leadership could encourage the White House to improve its standing
among Armenian American voters.

The ANCA letter also stressed that, while disappointed with the
President’s performance, the ANCA “highly values our many close
friends in Congress and throughout the country and wants to ensure
that they can effectively reach out to Armenian Americans this
election season, confident in the knowledge that their national
leadership has been supportive of Armenian issues.”

Hachikian highlighted that Armenian Americans “have great respect
for the tremendous leadership of Congressman Joe Knollenberg as Co-
Chairman of the Armenian Caucus and appreciate his spearheading of
the adoption of legislation in the House granting Armenia Permanent
Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status. This important measure,
which is awaiting Senate action, was provided crucial Committee
support by Chairman Bill Thomas of the Ways and Means Committee.
Our community deeply appreciates the efforts of Congressman George
Radanovich in introducing and advocating tirelessly on behalf of
the Genocide Resolution, and those of Judiciary Committee Chairman
James Sensenbrenner for moving this important measure out of
Committee. We admire the efforts of Congressman Mark Kirk, who has
worked with Congressman Knollenberg and Chairman Jim Kolbe of the
Foreign Operations Subcommittee to address Armenian American
concerns in the foreign aid bill. Throughout the nation, Armenian
Americans value their friendships with Republican legislators, from
David Dreier in California, Eric Cantor in Virginia, Chris Smith in
New Jersey, Mark Souder in Indiana, to New York’s John Sweeney, who
is of Armenian heritage, and many others.” In the Senate,
Hachikian made special mention of “Senators Mitch McConnell, John
Ensign, George Allen, Elizabeth Dole, and many others,” noting that
the ANCA wants to “ensure that they can effectively reach out to
Armenian Americans this election season, confident in the knowledge
that their national leadership has been supportive of Armenian

In a similar letter sent last week to the Chairman of the Bush-
Cheney -04 campaign, Marc Racicot, the ANCA included a copy of its
Bush Administrations’ Report Card and suggested “a number of steps
that the Administration can take to improve its standing among our
nation’s one and a half million citizens of Armenian heritage.”
The letter went on to note that, “these issues are of profound
importance to our entire community – Republicans, Democrats, and
independents – all of whom, sadly, are united in the view that this
Administration, despite its early promise, has fallen far short of
their expectations.” Racicot, in addition to being the former
Governor of Montana, was the immediate past Chairman of the
Republican National Committee.

For the full text of the ANCA 2004 Armenian American Presidential
Report Card visit:

For the National Organization for Republican Armenians perspective
on the Bush Administration’s record visit:

The Armenian American Leadership Council’s (AADLC) review of the
Bush Administration can be found at:

A review of Sen. John Kerry’s (D-MA) record on Armenian issues is
located at: