The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to restrict U.S. foreign military financing and training assistance to Azerbaijan, passing a bipartisan, ANCA-backed amendment led by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and twenty of his House colleagues.
The vote sends a powerful signal to Azerbaijan’s dictatorial Aliyev regime that their ongoing aggression against Armenia and Artsakh will not be rewarded with U.S. taxpayer-funded military assistance, the Armenian National Committee of America reports.
The Pallone Amendment states, “None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act [H.R.4373] under ‘International Military Education and Training’ and ‘Foreign Military Financing Program’ may be made available for Azerbaijan.” The provision does not block discretionary military equipment, which may be transferred by the Department of Defense under U.S. laws Section 333. The ANCA is working with Senate and House Members of the Armed Services Committee to address those concerns by strengthening Section 907 restrictions on U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan.
The House vote on the Pallone amendment was included in a bi-partisan series of amendments voted “en bloc,” and overwhelmingly adopted. The House will vote on the broader Fiscal Year 2022 Foreign Aid Bill (H.R.4373) later Wednesday night. That broader bill is accompanied by a report which calls for not less than $50 million in U.S. assistance to Armenia, “for economic development, private sector productivity, energy independence, democracy and the rule of law, and other purposes.” It urges not less than $2 million for demining activities in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). The recommendation for U.S. assistance to Armenia is over twice that requested by President Biden in his FY2022 proposed budget, which remains silent on U.S. assistance to Artsakh.