Today’s markup in the House Foreign Relations Committee is a key day for H. Res 106, a resolution that calls on the United States to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide that took place in the early part of the twentieth century. As a chief sponsor and former author of this same resolution in previous Congresses, I am well aware of the hurdles facing this legislation. Turkey has an incredible lobbying effort and has historically spent millions of dollars a year to keep this resolution off House floor. In 2000, nearly identical legislation was scheduled for a vote on the floor. I was headed up the stairs of the Capitol as then President Clinton called former Speaker Hastert and asked for the bill to be pulled, and a vote was never taken.

There is no excuse for a democracy such as ours to not properly recognize this abomination that took place 92 years ago. It is imperative that America is able to draw clear lines between good and evil, just and unjust—without that ability we are unable to address those inhumanities that are ongoing around the globe today such as in Darfur and Myanmar.

Hopefully, the members of the Foreign Relations Committee will take the courageous first step and do what is morally right by voting to pass this resolution out of committee and allow for a vote on the House floor. The survivors of the Armenian Genocide who are still with us today deserve to see our country confront and defeat this campaign of denial. It is time for this House to set things right and officially recognize the Armenian Genocide.