House Votes to Block US Military Aid to Azerbaijan

The US House of Representatives, by voice vote, adopted an amendment, led by Rep. Frank Pallone and his Congressional Armenian Caucus colleagues, blocking U.S. military financing and training assistance for the Azerbaijani armed forces. Specifically, the adopted amendment prohibits funds to Azerbaijan under the International Military Education and Training Program and the Foreign Military Financing Program.

The amendment was led by Congressional Armenian Caucus leaders Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), and David Valadao (R-CA) who were joined by the following House members as co-sponsors of the amendment: Representatives Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Jim Costa (D-CA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Andy Levin (D-MI), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), and Dina Titus (D-NV).

The provision does not block discretionary military equipment which may be transferred by the Department of Defense under U.S. laws Section 333.

“Given Azerbaijan’s blatant disregard for international laws and their continuous incursions onto Armenian soil, resulting in the death of three Armenian soldiers today, the House vote blocking American tax dollars to subsidize the oil-rich Azerbaijani army of the Aliyev regime is a positive step in the right direction,” said Armenian Council of America Chairman Sevak Khatchadorian. “We will continue educating and advocating the Senate and House Members of the Armed Services Committee, to address our concerns of Azerbaijan’s destabilizing actions in the region and the need to strengthen Section 907 restrictions on U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan.”

A second amendment to H.R.4373, led by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), which would have increased foreign military financing to Armenia by $3 million, was ruled out of order by the House Committee on Rules and was thus not taken up during today’s House session.

Armenian Council of America is committed to promote the civic and civil rights interests of the Armenian American community. ACA also aims to strengthen U.S. – Armenia and U.S. – Artsakh ties, the development of programs promoting sustainable economic growth and good governance in Armenia, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship.