The U.S. House of Representatives. Official photo

The U.S. House of Representatives considered amendments to its spending bills for Fiscal Year 2021, several of which deal with the Karabakh conflict, the Armenian National Committee of America reported.

On July 20, the House adopted an amendment proposed by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and co-sponsored by Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), that requires that Pentagon prepare a report on its more than $100 million in security assistance to Azerbaijan since 2018. The Focus on Karabakh first reported about the aid last year.

On the same day the House adopted an amendment calling for a report on the status of the Karabakh conflict-caused internally displaced persons in Azerbaijan, but not in Armenia. That amendment was advanced by Congressional Turkey Caucus Co-Chairs Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) and Stephen Cohen (D-Tenn.).

At the same time, amendments proposed by Rep. Sherman that would restrict U.S. defense transfers to Azerbaijan, and another by Rep. Speier, requiring parity in U.S. military aid to Armenia and Azerbaijan, were voted down by the House Rules Committee.

And on July 23, the House adopted an amendment previously backed by 40 House members that calls for $1.4 million in U.S. aid for continuing de-mining work conducted in Artsakh by the British charity the HALO Trust. The State Department previously announced plans to end the program this year.

The amendments passed by the House need to be reconciled with the Senate versions of the bills. Last year, several amendments adopted in the House did not make it into the final bills adopted, which defaulted to Senate versions.

UPDATE: On July 31, the House adopted Rep. Schiff’s amendment calling for an unclassified “written assessment” by the Director of National Intelligence on Armenia-Azerbaijan security situation, including “a description of each significant use of force [in 2020] and an assessment of who initiated the use of such force.” The assessment is also required to study “the effect of United States military assistance to Azerbaijan and Armenia on the regional balance of power and the likelihood of further use of military force.”