House Armenian Caucus members likely to hold important positions

DeFacto Agency, Armenia
Nov 10 2006


One day after winning majority control in the House of
Representatives, Democrats took back the U.S. Senate, with Armenian
issues supporters Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Richard Durbin
(D-IL) positioned to serve as Majority Leader and Majority Whip
respectively, in the 110th Congress. Senator Joseph Biden, Jr.
(D-DE), also a staunch supporter, is expected to chair the powerful
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which oversees policy concerning
Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.
All three Senators have raised awareness of the Armenian Genocide as
cosponsors of S. Res. 320, a resolution reaffirming the U.S. record
which is currently pending before the Foreign Relations Committee.
Reid, Durbin and Biden also voted to maintain Section 907 of the
Freedom Support Act in an historic Senate floor fight in 1999 of
which, Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) led
the effort in maintaining Section 907 at that time. Sarbanes
announced his retirement from the Senate earlier this year and did
not seek re-election. The Assembly awarded him for his longstanding
support of Armenian issues during the National Advocacy Conference
and Banquet in March of this year.
According to the information DE FACTO got at the Armenian Assembly of
America (AAA), AAA Executive Director Bryan Ardouny said, `’The
Assembly will continue its bipartisan approach in the Senate and
looks forward to working with our Senate friends, as well as reaching
out to the new class of incoming Senators. We have much at stake and
will continue to promote an aggressive agenda to ensure a strong,
prosperous and democratic Armenia."
Ardouny also noted that Reid and Durbin, along with House
Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who is
running for Majority Leader, have been consistent supporters of
Armenian issues. Their anticipated leadership positions in the next
Congress will provide new
opportunities for advancing key issues.
Several other Armenian issues supporters are slated to chair full
committees, including Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) – Health,
Education, Labor and Pensions; John Kerry (D-MA) – Small Business and
Entrepreneurship; Carl Levin (D-MI) – Armed Services; Tim Johnson
– Select Committee on Ethics and others.
Senator George Allen (R-VA), an ardent supporter of Armenian issues,
conceded his re-election bid today, while Congressional Caucus on
Armenian Issues Members Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Benjamin Cardin
(D-MD) both won seats in the Senate. Brown and Cardin both voted for
Section 907 in the House floor fight in 1998 and support
Armenia-specific legislation in the current Congress. Senator Robert
Menendez (D-NJ) was re-elected for a second term, while Republican
Rick Santorum was defeated in Pennsylvania’s Senate contest.

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