Thirteen Amendments to Major Defense Bill Would Stop Military Aid to Azerbaijan; Condemn Azerbaijani Blockade; Support Artsakh Self-Determination
The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is mobilizing on Capitol Hill and in Congressional districts across America to hold Azerbaijan accountable for its seven-month blockade of Artsakh and escalating anti-Armenian aggression – backing a series of targeted amendments to the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA – H.R.2670) to sanction Azerbaijan, support U.S. aid to Artsakh, and advance Artsakh self-determination.
The ANCA is leading a nationwide grassroots effort – anca.org/ndaa – to encourage Representatives to cosponsor each of the amendments, which are set to be considered by the House Rules Committee as early as the week of July 10th. The full U.S. House will have the opportunity to vote on each of the amendments that are ruled in order, either separately or grouped together “en bloc,” during consideration of H.R.2670. Amendments with strong, bipartisan backing are generally considered more favorably by the Rules Committee.
“With Azerbaijan’s brutal blockade of Artsakh now in its seventh month, Congress must act immediately to prevent a second Armenian Genocide, by adopting amendments which would sanction Azerbaijan, stand up for Artsakh’s right to self-determination, and send assistance to the 120,000 indigenous Armenian Christians of Artsakh,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “Take action today at www.anca.org/NDAA.”
The thirteen pro-Artsakh/Armenia amendments to the NDAA Bill are as follows:
Amendment 163 – Introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), the amendment “directs a report to Congress on the humanitarian impact of the blockade of the Lachin Corridor and a long-term assessment of the blockade’s impact on Nagorno-Karabakh’s food, agricultural, water, and energy security.”
Amendment 340 – Spearheaded by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) & Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), this amendment calls for the “prohibition on military aid and security assistance to the defense, security, and border forces of the Government of Azerbaijan.
Amendment 426 – Introduced by Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), this amendment commissions a report on the energy partnerships Azerbaijan has had with Russian and Iranian companies, which undermine international sanctions.
Amendment 556 – Spearheaded by Greek American Representatives Chris Pappas (D-NH) and Dina Titus (D-NV), this amendment calls for an investigation into the use of Turkish F-16s during the 2020 Artsakh war.
Amendment 692 – Led by Rep. Frank Pallone & Rep. Gus Bilirakis, this amendment calls for US sanctions on Azerbaijan for human rights violations committed against Armenians in Artsakh and calls for the immediate opening of the Berdzor (Lachin) corridor.
Amendment 721 – Led by the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Rep. Thomas Kean Jr. (R-NJ), this amendment “requires the Secretary of State to provide the relevant Congressional Committees updates on the status of freedom of movement in the Lachin Corridor.”
Amendment 858 – This second amendment, led by Rep. Thomas Kean Jr. “requires the Secretary of State to report on if U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan is being used to undermine the status of ongoing peace negotiations with Armenia.”
Amendment 863 – Led by Central Valley California Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), this amendment “requires a report into the applicability of sanctions under existing statute (Magnitsky Act) to designate Azerbaijani government and military officials complicit in the perpetration of human rights abuses during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War, and in relation to the ongoing blockade of the Lachin Corridor.”
Amendment 947 – Led by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), this amendment calls on the Departments of State and Defense to explain their waiver of Section 907 restrictions on U.S. aid to Azerbaijan and argues that the waiver has “emboldened Azerbaijan to violate human rights and international law with impunity.”
Amendment 1087 – Introduced by Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA), this amendment calls on the Secretaries of State and Defense to submit a report to Congress on the use of “US parts and technology discovered in Turkish Bayraktar drones deployed by Azerbaijan against Nagorno Karabakh, Azerbaijan’s use of prohibited munitions against Nagorno Karabakh and Turkey and Azerbaijan’s recruitment of foreign terrorist fighters to participate in military operations against Nagorno Karabakh.”
Amendment 1127 – Introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), this amendment would prohibit the Departments of Defense, State, and Commerce from “authorizing new export licenses for offensive weapons for Azerbaijan, until Azerbaijan ceases the offensive use of force against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.”
Amendment 1132 – This second amendment introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff expresses the “sense of Congress that any lasting peace in the South Caucasus must ensure that the inalienable right to self-determination of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh is upheld.”
Amendment 1160 – This third amendment introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff calls for Azerbaijan’s “immediate and unconditional release of Armenian POWs.”