Lawler, Pallone, Bilirakis, Amo Bill Calls for Ending Military Assistance to Azerbaijan

Congressman Mike Lawler (NY-17) introduced the Armenian Protection Act with Congressman Gabe Amo (RI-01) and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Congressman Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) and Congressman Frank Pallone (NJ-06). The Armenian Protection Act is a companion bill to S.3000, which recently passed the Senate by voice vote.

While the U.S. Government is already prohibited from sending aid to the Government of Azerbaijan, the Biden Administration has utilized waiver authority to send military assistance and other forms of aid to Baku. The Armenian Protection Act temporarily repeals this waiver to restrict U.S. foreign assistance to the Government of Azerbaijan in fiscal years 2024 and 2025.

“Over 100,000 Armenians were targeted, abused, and displaced by the Government of Azerbaijan when they fled Nagorno-Karabakh in recent months,” said Congressman Lawler. “There is no question of Azerbaijan’s aggression, yet President Biden continues to turn a blind eye.”

“It’s simply unacceptable for the U.S. to be funding Azerbaijan’s campaign against the Armenian people,” concluded Congressman Lawler. “The Armenian Protection Act will put a stop to the Biden Administration’s funding of Azerbaijan’s authoritarian regime and desire for regional dominance.”

“President Aliyev broke international law when he ordered his deadly assault of Artsakh last September and still has not faced any meaningful consequences from the international community. World leaders failed to stop his genocidal campaign that has displaced 120,000 Armenians from their historic homeland even though his belligerent rhetoric and troop movements made it clear an attack was imminent,” said Congressman Frank Pallone. “It’s far past time for the United States and our allies to take serious actions that will prevent even more death and destruction at the hands of Aliyev and provide the safety and security in the region that Armenia needs to thrive as a democracy. The Armenian Protection Act will finally hold the Aliyev regime accountable, halt any further U.S. security assistance until they end their destabilizing actions in the region, and require proof that they can be a trustworthy party in peace negotiations moving forward. I call upon House leadership to take up this commonsense legislation and pass it immediately.”

“Current law prohibits United States assistance to the Government of Azerbaijan until the President determines and notifies Congress that the Government of Azerbaijan is taking demonstrable steps to cease all blockades and other offensive uses of force against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Yet, the Biden Administration has repeatedly waved this provision under the guise of preventing international terrorism. Given the political and humanitarian crisis that has resulted from Azerbaijan’s recent aggression toward neighboring Armenia, it is unconscionable that U.S. tax dollars are going to support this brutal regime. Those dollars could better be used here at home. Our legislation would stop the Biden Administration from circumventing the law and prevent any U.S. aid to Azerbaijan for at least the next two years,” said Congressman Gus Bilirakis.

“We must send a clear message to the Government of Azerbaijan and our partners around the globe that the United States will not stand for unprovoked attacks on the Armenian people,” said Congressman Gabe Amo. “We cannot allow the Government of Azerbaijan to get a free pass for their brutal military aggression and blockades against the ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh. I am proud to support this bipartisan legislation to show that the United States stands with the people of Armenia and will not accept Azerbaijan’s assault on Nagorno-Karabakh.”