House Baltic Caucus

Related Legislation

Leaders and members of the Baltic Caucus have worked in the past toward the passing of legislation regarding Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia and issues that affect the region and its constituency in America.  These efforts include, but are not limited to:

2014

U.S. House of Representatives passes “Black Ribbon Day” legislation recognizing Victims of Soviet Communist and Nazi regimes

Legislation designating August 23 as a “Black Ribbon Day” commemorating the victims of both Soviet communist and Nazi terror passed on May 22 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congressman John Shimkus of Illinois, the co-chairman of the House Baltic Caucus, sponsored the legislation and effectively shepherded its passage in the House. The legislation, part of a National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4435), will now be taken up by the Senate. A conference committee of both houses will work out differences.

It is especially important that legislation passed this year since it marks the 75th year since the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939. The pact divided Europe between Nazi Germany and the USSR and ushered in WWII. Ultimately this led to the 50 year Soviet occupation of the Baltic countries. This year will also mark 25 years since the “Baltic Way” was organized in 1989. This human chain united some two million Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians in an iconic demonstration of their resolve for freedom and independence.

Over the past several years the European Parliament, Council of Europe, Canada’s Parliament, as well a number of countries in Europe have passed similar Black Ribbon Day resolutions to achieve a historical “reconciliation based on truth and remembrance.” In passing this legislation, the United States Congress unambiguously asserts that the victims of the most destructive regimes in history will not be forgotten and will be remembered by future generations as well.

Rep. Shimkus introduced the Black Ribbon Day resolution in July 2013, and about 50 co-sponsors signed on. The language of that bill, with some modifications, was adopted in the military authorization bill. An earlier version of the Black Ribbon Day resolution was introduced in the previous Session of Congress in 2012.

2013:

H.CON.RES.302 Expressing support for the designation of August 23 as Black Ribbon Day to recognize the victims of Soviet Communist and Nazi regimes. [113th Congress] 

H.RES.302 

Latest Title: Expressing support for designation of August 23 as "Black Ribbon Day" to recognize the victims of Soviet Communist and Nazi regimes. 
Sponsor: Rep Shimkus, John
 [IL-15] (introduced 7/16/2013)      Cosponsors (46) 
Latest Major Action: 
7/16/2013 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

COSPONSORS (46), BY DATE  (House Baltic Caucus members BOLD)

Rep Schiff, Adam B. [CA-28] - 7/22/2013 
Rep Joyce, David P. [OH-14] - 7/30/2013 
Rep Schock, Aaron [IL-18] - 7/30/2013 
Rep Kaptur, Marcy [OH-9] - 7/30/2013 
Rep Bridenstine, Jim [OK-1] - 7/30/2013 
Rep Turner, Michael R. [OH-10] - 8/2/2013 

Rep Huizenga, Bill [MI-2] - 8/2/2013 
Rep Royce, Edward R. [CA-39] - 9/9/2013 
Rep Cardenas, Tony [CA-29] - 9/9/2013 

Rep Brooks, Susan W. [IN-5] - 9/9/2013 
Rep Keating, William R. [MA-9] - 9/17/2013 
Rep Pallone, Frank, Jr. [NJ-6] - 9/28/2013 
Rep King, Peter T. [NY-2] - 10/23/2013 
Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] - 10/23/2013 
Rep Roybal-Allard, Lucille [CA-40] - 10/28/2013 

Rep Davis, Susan A. [CA-53] - 10/28/2013 
Rep Bass, Karen [CA-37] - 10/29/2013 
Rep Napolitano, Grace F. [CA-32] - 11/12/2013 

Rep Harris, Andy [MD-1] - 11/13/2013 
Rep Upton, Fred [MI-6] - 11/21/2013 
Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. [IL-4] - 11/21/2013 
Rep Pitts, Joseph R. [PA-16] - 11/21/2013 
Rep Price, David E. [NC-4] - 11/21/2013 
Rep Roskam, Peter J. [IL-6] - 11/21/2013 
Rep Camp, Dave [MI-4] - 11/21/2013 
Rep Lipinski, Daniel [IL-3] - 11/21/2013 

Rep Grimm, Michael G. [NY-11] - 11/21/2013 
Rep Davis, Rodney [IL-13] - 11/21/2013
Rep Wilson, Joe [SC-2] - 12/2/2013 
Rep Diaz-Balart, Mario [FL-25] - 12/2/2013 
Rep Sanchez, Loretta [CA-46] - 12/2/2013 
Rep Van Hollen, Chris [MD-8] - 12/2/2013 
Rep Doggett, Lloyd [TX-35] - 12/2/2013
Rep Rohrabacher, Dana [CA-48] - 12/10/2013
Rep Miller, Candice S. [MI-10] - 12/12/2013 
Rep Walberg, Tim J. [MI-7] - 12/12/2013 
Rep Goodlatte, Bob [VA-6]
 - 12/12/2013 
Rep Bera, Ami [CA-7] - 01/08/2014 
Rep Terry, Lee [NE-2] - 01/28/2014 
Rep Visclosky, Peter J. [IN-1] - 01/28/2014
Rep Granger, Kay [TX-12] - 02/3/2014 
Rep Matsui, Doris O. [CA-6] - 02/4/2014 
Rep Calvert, Ken [CA-42] - 02/10/2014 
Rep Latta, Robert E. [OH-5] - 02/10/2014 
Rep Lowenthal, Alan S. [CA-47] - 02/11/2014
Rep Herrera Beutler, Jaime [WA-3] - 02/11/2014

2012:

H.CON.RES.267 Expressing support for the designation of August 23 as Black Ribbon Day to recognize the victims of Soviet Communist and Nazi regimes. [112th Congress]

2010:

H.CON.RES.267 Congratulating the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania on the 20th anniversary of the reestablishment of their full independence. [111th Congress]

2009:

H.RES.285  Congratulating the people of the Republic of Lithuania on the 1000th anniversary of Lithuania and celebrating the rich history of Lithuania. [111th Congress]

H.RES.496  Recognizing the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. [111th Congress]

2008:

H.RES.1405  Congratulating the Republic of Latvia on the 90th anniversary of its declaration of independence. [110th Congress]

H.CON.RES.371  Strongly supporting an immediate and just restitution of, or compensation for, property illegally confiscated during the last century by Nazi and Communist regimes. [110th Congress]

2007:

H.CON.RES.255  Expressing the sense of Congress regarding the United States commitment to preservation of religious and cultural sites and condemning instances where sites are desecrated. [110th Congress]

H.RES.397  Condemning violence in Estonia and attacks on Estonia's embassies in 2007, and expressing solidarity with the Government and the people of Estonia. [110th Congress]

2006:

H.R.5730  To designate Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania as program countries under the visa waiver program established under section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. [109th Congress]

2005:

H.CON.RES.128  Expressing the sense of Congress that the Government of the Russian Federation should issue a clear and unambiguous statement of admission and condemnation of the illegal occupation and annexation by the Soviet Union from 1940 to 1991 of the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. [109th Congress]

2004:

H.RES.558  Welcoming the accession of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and for other purposes. [108th Congress]

2001:

H.CON.RES.131  Congratulating the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania on the tenth anniversary of the reestablishment of their full independence. [107th Congress]

2000:

H.CON.RES.258  Congratulating the Republic of Lithuania on the tenth anniversary of the reestablishment of its independence from the rule of the former Soviet Union. [106th Congress]

H.CON.RES.319  Congratulating the Republic of Latvia on the 10th anniversary of the reestablishment of its independence from the rule of the former Soviet Union. [106th Congress]

1999:

H.CON.RES.21  Recommending the integration of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). [106th Congress]

1997:

H.CON.RES.10  Recommending the integration of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. [105th Congress]

1996:

H.R.3564  To amend the NATO Participation Act of 1994 to expedite the transition to full membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization of emerging democracies in Central and Eastern Europe. [104th Congress]

H.CON.RES.51  Expressing the sense of the Congress relating to the removal of Russian troops from Kaliningrad. [104th Congress]

Source: http://thomas.loc.gov/