Armenian Caucus in Washington Expands


Rep. Jackie Speier

Rep. Jackie Speier

WASHINGTON — The Armenian Assembly of America welcomed the bipartisan expansion of the leadership of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues with the addition of Representatives David Valadao (R-CA) and Jackie Speier (D-CA) as Co-Chairs and Adam Schiff (D-CA) and David Trott (R-MI) as Vice Chairs. These Members of Congress join current Co-Chairs Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Robert Dold (R-IL).

“Representatives Speier, Valadao, Schiff, and Trott have all proven to be dedicated and integral Members of the Armenian Caucus. We are excited to see them take on this new leadership role,” Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny said. “As more Members of Congress take the lead on Armenian issues, the more we can accomplish, especially in these challenging times. The Assembly welcomes the expanded Caucus leadership team and looks forward to working with them throughout the remainder of this Congress,” Ardouny continued.

During a recent meeting with Congressman Pallone, Armenian Assembly Board Co-Chair Van Krikorian expressed the importance of strengthening the Caucus in view of recent developments in the region as a result of Azerbaijan’s attacks against Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh.

Valadao serves on the House Appropriations Committee and is the Vice Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies.

“My Congressional District is home to a very large Armenian population that has a very strong presence throughout California’s Central Valley. As a result, the positive contributions Armenian-Americans have made to our society are evident. It is important that I do my part to represent this community while in Washington,” Valadao said. “As Co-Chair of the Armenian Caucus, I am excited to continue my work raising awareness of the contributions of the Armenian people and the importance of strong bilateral ties between the two nations,” he added.

Speier, who participated in the US delegation that traveled to Armenia last year for the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide, also hails from California and serves on the House Armed Service Committee as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

“As one of only two Armenian members of Congress, I couldn’t be more proud to co-chair the Congressional Armenian Caucus. I was raised to take pride in my Armenian background, and learned at an early age the rich history of our Armenian people — including the horrors my ancestors and others suffered at the hands of the Ottoman Empire as part of the Armenian Genocide,” Co-Chair Speier said to the Armenian Assembly. “I look forward to representing Armenian Americans and all Americans in building a robust U.S.-Armenia relationship. By celebrating our strong heritage, and ensuring atrocities of the past are never forgotten, we can ensure that America and Armenia will enjoy a peaceful and prosperous future.”

Vice-Chair Schiff, who met with the Assembly’s 2016 intern class, has long been a leading Democratic sponsor of the House resolutions affirming the Armenian Genocide. Rep. Schiff previously served on the House Appropriations Committee, and presently serves as the Ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Republican Member Trott was also part of the US delegation to Armenia for the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. He serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Committee on the Judiciary.

The Congressional Armenian Issues Caucus has worked to strengthen the ties between the United States and Armenia and keep members engaged on Armenia-related issues. The Caucus continues to advocate for increased trade and assistance to Armenia, self-determination for Nagorno Karabagh and supporting U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide.