In a stunning turn of events Thursday, the U.S. Senate unanimously adopted bipartisan Senate Resolution 150—the Armenian Genocide Resolution—formally recognizing the Ottoman Empire’s genocide against the Armenian people.
The resolution is identical to House Resolution 296, adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives in October by a vote of 405 to 11, in its official rejection of Turkish denials of committing genocide against Armenians—as well as against other Christian nations of the late Ottoman Empire, including Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, and Maronites.
Passage of the resolution was the culmination of persistent efforts by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), who introduced the measure four times in the past month—only to have it blocked on the first three occasions. Under Senate rules, any senator can ask to pass a resolution; as long as no other senator objects, the measure will clear the chamber.
On the fourth try by Menendez and Cruz, no objection was raised. The successful unanimous adoption on December 12 marks the first time that the U.S. Senate has recognized the Armenian Genocide.
The Armenian Genocide Resolution establishes “recognition and remembrance” to the Armenian Genocide as a matter of U.S. policy. In addition, the resolution rejects attempts to “enlist, engage, or otherwise associate” the U.S. government with denial of genocide, and “encourage(s) education and public understanding” of genocide to help prevent modern-day atrocities.
In letters to the two senators, Diocesan Primate Bishop Daniel thanked Sen. Cruz and Sen. Menendez for their “unflagging persistence, moral vision, and dedication to the justice of this profound cause.”