July 14, 2022

Cárdenas Amendment to Create Report on Azerbaijan's Activities in Nagorno Karabakh Passes in Annual House Defense Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the House of Representatives voted to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023, which includes a bipartisan amendment introduced by Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) and co-led by Congressman Adam Schiff (CA-28)and Congressman Brad Sherman (CA-30). The amendment requires a report from the Secretary of Defense in consultation with the Secretary of State on the use of U.S. parts in Turkish drones by Azerbaijan in Nagorno Karabakh, Azerbaijan’s use of white phosphorous, cluster bombs and prohibited munitions in Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan’s recruitment of foreign terrorist fighters during the 2020 conflict in the region. 

“We must ensure that we get a clear picture of what transpired in Nagorno Karabakh in 2020 as we look to hold Azerbaijan accountable for its actions,” said Congressman Cárdenas. “I am proud to have worked with Reps. Sherman and Schiff to get this amendment passed a second time. I am thankful for the bipartisan group of cosponsors that have joined us in this effort, and we will work hard to see that the report gets done and that it is done right.”

“Over the course of 44 days starting in September 2020, Azerbaijan perpetrated a horrific war and humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh, killing thousands of Armenians and forcing thousands more to flee their ancestral homelands. And to this day, Azerbaijan continues to illegally detain Armenian soldiers who have been subject to torture. Azerbaijan also threatens thousands of innocent civilians who live in fear of another attack and invasion,” said Congressman Schiff. “It is of the utmost urgency that we understand the full extent to which Azerbaijan has violated international law so that we can hold the Aliyev regime to account, and send a strong message that America will not stand by as Azerbaijan continues its belligerency against the Armenian people.”

“The world witnessed the consequences of Azerbaijan’s unchecked hatred against Armenians during the invasion of Artsakh in 2020 as Azeri forces committed horrendous war crimes against Armenian civilians, including women and the elderly, and illegally imprisoned Armenian POWs after the cessation of hostilities,” said Congressman Sherman. “This amendment is critical in our efforts to hold Azerbaijan accountable for its heinous acts of aggression and sends a strong message calling on Azerbaijan to honor its obligation for the unconditional and safe return to Armenia of all remaining Armenian prisoners of war. 

The bipartisan amendment was cosponsored by Representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Judy Chu (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Andy Levin (D-MI), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA),  Frank Pallone (D-NJ),  Linda Sánchez (D-CA), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Dina Titus (D-NV), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and David Valadao (R-CA).

The full text of the amendment is available here.


In addition,  the FY23 NDAA includes a range of key national security priorities for House Democrats:

  • Vital benefits for service members and their families, including a 4.6% pay raise for service members and civilian personnel, 2.4% inflation bonuses for service members earning less than $45,000/year and a $15/hour minimum wage for workers on federal service and construction contracts. 
  • Support for HBCUs and other minority serving institutions, allocating over $111 million for research activities at HBCUS and establishing a pilot program to increase research capacity at minority serving institutions.
  • Civilian harm mitigation measures, including the establishment of a Commission on Civilian Harm and a Center for Excellence in Civilian Harm Mitigation at the Department of Defense.
  • New investments in science and technology competitiveness, including $275 million in additional funding for next-generation capabilities in hypersonics, electronic warfare, directed energy, artificial intelligence, and software.
  • Supply chain security, including an assessment of dual-use technology that the Chinese Communist Party might exploit and improving risk management in DoD supply chains involving pharmaceutical products.
  • Resources for U.S. allies and partners, including $1 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) and funding for the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI) and Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI).

A summary of the provisions in the FY23 NDAA is available here