This week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., got his proposal to reauthorize the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) through Capitol Hill.
Rubio brought out the bill to continue the USCIRF through 2024 back in March. U.S. Sens. Chris Coons, D-Del., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., James Lankford, R-Okla., Bob Menendez, D-NJ, and Jim Risch, R-Idaho, co-sponsored the bill.
The bill cleared the Senate by unanimous consent back in July, and, this week, the U.S. House passed the companion measure from U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-NJ. U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., was one of the co-sponsors.
Smith’s bill passed 402-4 as Republican U.S. Reps. Louie Gohmert and Chip Roy of Texas, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Thomas Massie of Kentucky voted against it. Every member of the Florida delegation who voted backed Smith’s proposal. U.S. Reps. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., Greg Steube, R-Fla., and Michael Waltz, R-Fla., did not vote.
“I’m grateful the House has voted to reauthorize USCIRF’s mission and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom everywhere. USCIRF does phenomenal work defending this sacred right around the globe, but its authorization will expire in just a matter of days. President Biden must sign our bill immediately,” said Rubio.
The bill now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk.
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