Congress hammers Turkey with sanctions and Armenian genocide votes

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REUTERS/Erin Scott A bipartisan sanctions package against Turkey co-sponsored by New York Democatic Rep. Eliot Engel easily passed Oct. 29. Here, Engel arrives to hear testimony as part of the House impeachment inquiry in Washington, Oct. 17, 2019.

BY Bryant Harris Congress moved forward with two bills today in rebuke of Turkey for its incursion into northeastern Syria. The House easily passed a bipartisan Turkey sanctions package, introduced by Reps. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and Mike McCaul, R-Texas, 403-16. Shortly before that, House lawmakers also passed a symbolic resolution 405-3 to recognize the World War I era massacre of more than 1 million mostly Christian Armenians as a genocide. Congress last passed a resolution recognizing the 1915 massacre as a genocide in 1984. While the House Foreign Affairs Committee has occasionally advanced it since then, House leadership never put it on the floor until today. The House’s Armenian genocide recognition, spearheaded by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., comes just as the US-Turkish alliance continues to unravel. “The scenario has changed dramatically since Turkey made its move on Syria, and I believe that the deciding factor was that Turkey has lost a lot of support amongst members of Congress,” Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., an original co-sponsor on the resolution, told Al-Monitor. “I’ve been here 10 years, and to see this resolution come onto the floor is just a tremendous step forward.” Read more: