[Congressional Record: July 15, 2004 (House)]
[Page H5875-H5895]
>From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []


Amendment Offered by Mr. Schiff

Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
The text of the amendment is as follows:

Amendment offered by Mr. Schiff:
At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert
the following:

prohibition on use of funds for certain purposes

Sec. 576. None of the funds made available in this Act may
be used by the Government of Turkey to engage in
contravention of section 1913 of title 18, United States
Code, (relating to lobbying with appropriated moneys), with
respect to H. Res. 193, Reaffirming support of the Convention
on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and
anticipating the 15th anniversary of the enactment of the
Genocide Convention Implementation Act of 1987 (the Proxmire
Act) on November 4, 2003.

The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to the order of the House of today, the
gentleman from California (Mr. Schiff) and a Member opposed each will
control 5 minutes.
Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on this
amendment, and I claim the time in opposition.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman reserves a point of order.
The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 minutes on his
Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Chairman, I want to begin by congratulating the gentleman from
Arizona (Mr. Kolbe) and the ranking member, the gentlewoman from New
York (Mrs. Lowey), for their outstanding work on the bill. I think they
both have done a great job in advancing America’s foreign policy
priorities at an especially difficult time in our history.
I was particularly please to see the committee wisely provides $65
million in economic aid for Armenia, $3 million more than the
administration’s request, and that the committee wisely restored the
parity in security assistance between Armenia and Azerbaijan by funding
military aid and education assistance to both Armenia and Azerbaijan at
$6 million.
Today, I offer a simple amendment that will honor the 11/2 million
Armenians who perished in the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923. I
consider this a sacred obligation, to ensure that the men, women and
children who perished at the hands of the Ottoman Empire are not lost
to history and that this Congress not fund shameful efforts to deny
that the genocide occurred.
Time is the ally of those who would deny or change history. Such has
it been, regrettably, by those who would continue to deny the
undeniable facts of the murder of 11/2 million people, the first
genocide of last century.
My amendment tonight seeks only to prohibit the use of funds to lobby

[[Page H5890]]

against H. Res. 193, the resolution which includes a reference to the
Armenian Genocide and reaffirms the support of Congress for the
genocide convention and commemorates the anniversary of our becoming a
party to this landmark legislation. It will not deprive countries of
funding that they need for legitimate purposes, but no appropriations
under this bill or any other bill should be used by other governments
to lobby this Congress against legislation, and particularly
legislation that reaffirms our commitment to the convention on genocide
and the recognition of the victims of the Armenian Genocide as well as
the victims of many other genocides in the history of mankind.
Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr.
Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of the amendment
offered by the gentleman from California (Mr. Schiff).
It is time for the United States to properly recognize the Armenian
Genocide, which is fully documented in the U.S. Archives and through an
overwhelming body of firsthand governmental and diplomatic evidence.
Despite the overwhelming evidence, the Turkish government and its
paid lobbyists have through threats and blackmail sought to prevent the
United States from properly commemorating the Armenian Genocide.
Morally it is wrong for the American people to be complicit in the
Turkish government’s efforts to deny the suffering and death of 1.5
million people. I would also like to point out that Turkey’s
recognition of the Armenian Genocide would represent a meaningful step
towards its acceptance into the European family of nations.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, it is time for this body to stop defending and
funding a government that continues to deny its own history and refuses
to break with the pattern of intolerance established by past Turkish
governments which dealt with minority issues by committing genocide
against Armenians, massacring and driving Greeks from its shores,
restricting the rights of Christians to worship, and denying the
existence of its Kurdish citizens.
I would like to add that I am joined in my support of this amendment
by the gentleman from New York (Mr. Crowley).
Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
The CHAIRMAN. Does the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Kolbe) wish to
make his point of order?
Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I will not make a point of order on the
amendment. I will conclude the debate.
Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Chairman, how much time do I have remaining?
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from California (Mr. Schiff) has 2
minutes remaining.
Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Among historians there is no dispute about what happened to the
Armenian people. There is no dispute that it was genocide. Thousands of
pages of documents sit in our National Archives, newspapers of the day
were replete with stories about the murder of Armenians: “Appeal To
Turkey To Stop Massacres,” headlined the New York Times on April 28,
1915, just as the killing began.
On October 7 of that year, the Times reported that 800,000 Armenians
had been slain in cold blood in Asia Minor. In mid-December of 1915,
the Times spoke of a million Armenians killed or in exile.
In 1948, in the shadow of the Holocaust, the international community
responded to Nazi Germany’s methodically orchestrated acts of genocide
by approving the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the
Crime of Genocide. It confirms that genocide is a crime under
international law and defines genocide as actions committed with intent
to destroy a nation, ethnic, racial or religious group.
The United States under President Truman was the first nation to sign
the convention. Last year marked the 15th anniversary of President
Reagan signing the Genocide Convention Implementation Act.
Just over a year ago, I introduced H. Res. 193 with my colleagues,
the gentleman from California (Mr. Radanovich), the gentleman from New
Jersey (Mr. Pallone), the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg),
and other Members of this House. This should have been an easy
resolution for all of us now to support on the House floor. Genocide is
the most abhorrent crime known to human kind; and, unfortunately, it is
happening in the Sudan as we speak.
The reason we have not yet succeeded in passing this resolution is
simple. The government of Turkey refuses to acknowledge the genocide,
and the strongest nation on Earth fears their reaction if we do.
110 of my colleagues have co-sponsored this resolution, and I expect
it would pass overwhelmingly if given the chance. At the very least we
should not fund efforts to silence our voices.
Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Kolbe) is recognized
for 5 minutes.
Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Chairman, this is most unfortunate. We have just been handed this
amendment. It is a completely new amendment, quite different than the
one we had seen before. So we do not really know what the implications
of this are. I am trying to read it and think it through.
I am inclined to accept this and deal with its ramifications in the
full committee. Looking at it, let me say that it appears by saying
relating to lobbying with appropriated monies, but not having any way
of making that determination as to what that is, it does not have any
real impact. Nonetheless, I understand the symbolism of this, and I am
concerned about that in terms of our ally, Turkey. But I am prepared to
accept this amendment at this time. And as I said, we will deal with
its implications and ramifications at a later time.
Mr. CROWLEY. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment offered
by my friend and colleague from California Adam Schiff.
This is an amendment to ensure that we never forget the struggles of
the Armenian people or that we never forget . . .
Ever since I was elected to the State Assembly and now in Congress, I
have been a strong supporter of the Armenian American community.
However, my strong support is not only because I represent a large
Armenian community in Queens but also because I see the strategic
importance of Caucasus region for the United States.
The contributions of the Armenian community to this great city cannot
be fully appreciated quantitatively.
It can only be realized by those who walk the streets of New York
every day.
I had the opportunity to travel to Armenia last summer.
Through meetings and discussions with elected officials and even
regular citizens, I have a clearer understanding of Armenia’s needs and
I believe that as a nation Armenia is growing and with the support of
the United States and the Diasporan Armenian community–Armenia will be
able to overcome the economic and security challenges in the region.
I have continuously supported and encouraged closer ties between the
United States and Armenia because of the strategic position and also
because of the similar values of democracy and freedom.
The thorny path to liberty is a concept with which the people of
Armenia have been forced to contend for many years.
From the Armenian Genocide, to the republic’s absorption into the
Soviet Union, to the current struggle for Nagorno (NA-GORE-NO)-Karabakh
(KAR-AH-BAH), the path has not always been smooth.
I am pleased to say that the nation of Armenia does not need to
travel that thorny path alone.
I am proud to stand alongside them in an effort to reach their goals.
I assure you, it will never be forgotten.
Armenia remains a major focus in American foreign policy.
The United States recognizes the need to cultivate and support the
development of Armenia.
The United States has looked to Armenia to take the lead in bringing
peace and prosperity to the Caucasus.
The people of Armenia have overcome tremendous obstacles on the path
to liberty.
But again we can never forget the genocide and we must commemorate
Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the
gentleman from California (Mr. Schiff).

[[Page H5891]]

The amendment was agreed to.