US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders co-sponsors Armenian Genocide Resolution

WASHINGTON—Half of the U.S. Senators and three of the four U.S. Representatives running for president have cosponsored legislation to lock in official U.S. recognition and permanent remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.

With Senator Bernie Sanders’ (D-VT) decision this week to cosponsor S.Res.150, the three top U.S. Senate candidates seeking the presidency are current backers of this human rights measure. The others are Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Two of the three sitting U.S. Senators who have not cosponsored S.Res.150 – Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) – have never backed similar measures. The third, Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), is a past supporter of the Armenian Genocide Resolution.

On the House side, Representatives Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Tim Ryan (D-OH), are all cosponsors of the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.296. Rep. Eric Swalwell, a past supporter, has not cosponsored H.Res.296. Neither of the two former Representatives who are running for the White House – Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) and John Delaney (D-MD) – have ever cosponsored the Armenian Genocide legislation.

Former Vice President Joe Biden (D-DE) championed Armenian Genocide recognition during his decades in the Senate, yet was part of an Obama-Biden Administration that broke its pledge to properly commemorate this crime. The Obama-Biden White House also actively opposed Congressional legislation commemorating this atrocity, while its State Department called the Armenian Genocide a matter for “historical debate,” and its Department of Justice filed a Supreme Court brief against the right of Americans to file pursue Armenian Genocide-era insurance claims.

H.Res.296, spearheaded by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and backed by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), currently has 102 cosponsors, while S.Res.150, its Senate counterpart led by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) has 18 cosponsors. Both aim to establish, as a matter of U.S. policy, 1) the rejection of Armenian Genocide denial, 2) ongoing official U.S. government recognition and remembrance of this crime, and 3) the importance of education about the Armenian Genocide in preventing modern-day atrocities.