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 Wednesday, July 6 2022 13:52
Marianna Mkrtchyan

ANCA supports key amendments to fiscal year 2023 National Defense  Authorization Act

ANCA supports key amendments to fiscal year 2023 National Defense  Authorization Act

ArmInfo. The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) strongly supports several key amendments to H.R. 7900, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal  Year 2023 (FY23), as well as a bipartisan letter spearheaded by Rep. 

Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) along with Representatives Gus Bilirakis  (R-FL) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY).  With the full House of  Representatives expected to consider the FY23 NDAA as early as next  week, several key amendments were submitted to the House Committee on  Rules today by Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern (D-MA), along  with Representatives Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Debbie Dingell (D-MI),  Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Jackie Speier  (D-CA).

Chairman James McGovern's amendment modifies reports to Congress  under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act to include  actions taken to (1) address underlying causes of the sanctioned  conduct, and to (2) pursue judicial accountability in appropriate  jurisdictions for sanctioned individuals or entities. 

Rep. Tony Cardenas' bipartisan amendment, supported by Reps. Brad  Sherman (D-CA), Adam Schiff (D- CA), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Frank  Pallone (D-NJ), David Valadao (R-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Andy Levin  (D-MI), and Judy Chu (D-CA), calls for the creation of a report on  Azerbaijan's activities in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020 to be submitted  to Congress by the Secretary of Defense in consultation with the  Secretary of State. 

Rep. Debbie Dingell's amendment requires a report within 90 days of  enactment that contains an evaluation of the humanitarian situation  in Lebanon, as well as the impact of the deficit of wheat imports to  the country due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

A bipartisan amendment by Rep. Pallone, cosponsored by Reps. David  Valadao, Jackie Speier, Zoe Lofgren, Dina Titus (D-NV), David  Cicilline (D-RI), Judy Chu, Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Adam Schiff,  Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Grace Meng (D-NY), Jim Costa (D-CA), and Connie  Conway (R-CA), prohibits U.S.  Department of Defense funding to  Azerbaijan under the Section 333 Building Partner Capacity program. 

A bipartisan amendment offered by Rep. Adam Schiff demands that  Azerbaijan release all Armenian prisoners of war and captured  civilians still detained in the aftermath of the 2020 war in Nagorno-  Karabakh. This amendment is cosponsored by Reps. Frank Pallone,  Jackie Speier, Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Jim Costa, Tony Cardenas, Don  Beyer (D-VA), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Raja Krishnamoorthi, Gus  Bilirakis, and Katherine Clark (D-MA). 

Rep. Jackie Speier offered two amendments to the NDAA. The first is  an amendment prohibiting U.S.  security assistance from being  transferred to the defense or security forces of the government of  Azerbaijan, while the second is an amendment that would require  detailed reporting and accountability for any assistance provided to  Azerbaijan under the waiver provisions of Section 907 of the FREEDOM  Support Act, including an "assessment of Azerbaijan's use of  offensive force against Armenia or violations of Armenian sovereign  territory from November 11, 2020." Both amendments are supported by  Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), and Judy Chu (D-CA). 

In addition to the aforementioned amendments, the Armenian Assembly  of America strongly supports a bipartisan letter addressed to  President Biden opposing the potential sale of next generation F-16  fighter jets and F-16 upgrade kits to Turkey. The letter states, in  part, that Erdogan's "regime has repeatedly used its military power  to destabilize the Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East, South  Caucasus, and North Africa for years." The letter further highlights  that "Turkish and Turkish-backed forces have utilized American- made  weaponry and components during these incursions to commit war crimes,  including purposefully bombing civilian targets like hospitals and  schools in Iraq, Syria, and Nagorno Karabakh. They have also been  used repeatedly to violate the sovereign territory of NATO allies and  partners like Greece and Cyprus." "The Armenian Assembly strongly  supports these timely amendments as well as the bipartisan letter  opposing the potential sale of F-16s to Turkey," stated Congressional  Relations Director Mariam Khaloyan. "Also, given Aliyev's aggressive  rhetoric constantly threatening Armenia, and Azeri forces  deliberately disrupting the lives and livelihoods of the Armenian  population in border areas and in Artsakh, it is critically important  to hold Azerbaijan accountable for its laundry list of human rights  violations," Khaloyan added.  

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