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U.S. House Passes Cox Amendment on U.S. Aid to Artsakh

Congressman TJ Cox (D-CA) – a first-term legislator representing California’s Central Valley – spearheaded the successful passage today of an amendment appropriating Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) U.S. assistance for life-saving de-mining programs and expanded rehabilitation services in the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh), reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

Securing and sustaining direct U.S. support for Artsakh has been a key ANCA policy priority for more than two decades, since this aid program was first launched, with ANCA backing and the leadership of Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), in the Fiscal Year 1998 foreign aid bill.

During remarks on the House floor last week, Rep. Cox noted “Karabakh has one of the highest civilian casualty rates from land mines and unsolicited remnants of war. According to The HALO Trust, there have been nearly 400 civilian casualties from mines and unexploded ordnance in Karabakh for the last few decades and a quarter of those landmine victims have been children. In 2013, a needs assessment estimated that The HALO Trust interventions have benefited over 80% of the region’s population. Mr. Speaker, families and children shouldn’t have to live in fear of dying due to a landmine accident.” 

The Cox Amendment on Artsakh aid, which was supported by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Vice-Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA), calls for a $1.5 million allocation for FY2020.  It was adopted as part of an “en bloc” group of foreign aid related amendments to H.R.2740 by a vote of 231 to 187. The Cox Amendment passed over the opposition of the Ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, Hal Rogers (R-KY), who opposed several amendments in the en bloc measure, including the Cox amendment.

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