Senate passes Armenian genocide resolution

The Senate passed a resolution on Thursday formally recognizing the Ottoman Empire's genocide against the Armenian people, a move strongly opposed by the Turkish government.

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezHillicon Valley: Facebook launches portal for coronavirus information | EU sees spike in Russian misinformation on outbreak | Senate Dem bill would encourage mail-in voting | Lawmakers question safety of Google virus website Democratic senators press Google over privacy of coronavirus screening site Menendez calls for 'Marie Yovanovitch bill' to protect foreign service employees MORE (D-N.J.) passed the resolution, which provides "official recognition and remembrance" of the Armenian genocide, by consent.

"We have just passed the Armenian genocide resolution ... and it is fitting and appropriate that the Senate stands on the right side of history in doing so. It commemorates the truth of the Armenian genocide," Menendez said from the Senate floor.

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Under the Senate's rules any senator can ask to pass a resolution. As long as another senator doesn't object, the measure will clear the chamber. The Armenian genocide resolution passed the House in a 405-11 vote.

The move comes after three GOP senators previously blocked passage of the resolution amid pressure from the White House, which argued that it would undercut negotiations between Washington and Ankara, which vehemently opposes recognizing the killing of 1.5 million Armenians in the early 20th century as genocide.

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump faces mounting pressure to unleash Defense Production Act Overnight Energy: House stimulus aims to stem airline pollution | Environmental measures become sticking point in Senate talks | Progressives propose T 'green stimulus' GOP blames environmental efforts, but Democrats see public health problems with stimulus MORE (R-Texas) noted that it was the fourth time that supporters have tried to pass the resolution.

"This is the third week in a row we have come to the Senate floor seeking to pass this resolution, and I'm grateful that today we have succeeded," Cruz said. "This is a moment of truth that was far too long coming."

Congress's passage of the resolution comes as relations between the U.S. and Turkey have been tested in recent months over Turkey's purchase of a Russian weapons system and its incursion into Syria.

It comes a day after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed Turkey sanctions legislation, underscoring the rocky relationship between Capitol Hill and Ankara.

In addition to giving "recognition and remembrance" to the Armenian genocide, the resolution also rejects attempts to "enlist, engage, or otherwise associate" the U.S. government with denial of genocide and "encourage education and public understanding" of it.