The Armenian National Committee of America, as part of its continuing efforts to strengthen ties with Members of Congress working to safeguard Christians and other minorities across the Middle East, recently conferred in Washington with Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), who currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Religious Minorities in the Middle East. The Congressman, who has co-sponsored the Armenian Genocide Resolution pending before the 115th Congress, is a member of the powerful House Committee on Appropriations.
“The ANCA is proud of our constructive working relationship with Congressman Fortenberry,” remarked ANCA National Chairman Raffi Hamparian after meeting with the Congressman on Capitol Hill. “The Congressman’s service on the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, means that he plays a significant role in shaping America’s foreign policy and U.S. foreign aid appropriations. We look forward to continuing the ANCA’s work with Congressman Fortenberry,” Hamparian added.
In March of 2016, Congressman Fortenberry joined forces with Armenian American Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) in securing House passage of bipartisan legislation (H. Con. Res. 75) defining as genocide the persecution by ISIS of Christians, Yezidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria. In a memorable address at an “In Defense of Christians” conference co-sponsored by the ANCA, Congressman Fortenberry shared that “we cannot underestimate the moral authority the United States has when we simply utter what is true.” Sadly, the U.S. Department of State sought to block passage of the Fortenberry/Eshoo bill – just as it has consistently opposed Congressional consideration of matters related to the Armenian Genocide.
Jeff Fortenberry represents Nebraska’s First Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. He is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which is responsible for the expenditures of the United States government. He serves on three subcommittees with importance for our national and economic security: Energy and Water, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and State and Foreign Operations. In Congress, Rep. Fortenberry serves as co-chair of the Nuclear Security Working Group, co-chair of the Caucus on Religious Minorities in the Middle East, and co-chair of the Congressional Study Group on Europe.
Prior to serving in Congress, Rep. Fortenberry worked as a publishing industry executive in Lincoln, where he also served on the Lincoln City Council from 1997-2001. He also has significant personal experience in small business, public policy analysis, and economic development. Rep. Fortenberry earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and two master’s degrees, one in public policy. He and his wife Celeste live in Lincoln and have five daughters. His work in Congress is rooted in the belief that the strength of our nation depends on the strength of our families and communities.