WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), co-chairs of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, today introduced a resolution to establish a John S. McCain III Human Rights Commission, modeled after the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the U.S. House of Representatives. If passed, the resolution would create a bipartisan commission to examine human rights violations through regular hearings and briefings, and promote human rights initiatives in the Senate. Joining Senators Coons and Tillis in introducing the resolution were Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
“Senator McCain was a remarkable man who used his role in the Senate to advocate for human rights and to stand up for people around the world who were denied basic freedoms. He embodied our country’s values and understood the critical role of the United States in promoting human rights across the globe,” said Senator Coons. “I am hopeful that we can advance this legislation and honor Senator McCain’s legacy by establishing a bipartisan commission here in the Senate that is dedicated to raising awareness about human rights abuses and promoting human liberty around the world.”
“Our late friend and colleague John McCain understood that promoting and defending human rights was a cornerstone of America’s foreign policy and an inherent way of advancing American values, from leading the passage of the Magnitsky Act to sanctioning authoritarian regimes that hold contempt for human life,” said Senator Tillis. “It’s an honor to join Senator Coons in proposing the establishment of the McCain Human Rights Commission, which will carry on John McCain’s legacy of shining a light on human rights abuses across the world and building bipartisan coalitions to take action.”
"John McCain understood the importance of American international leadership on human rights, and establishing this commission is an important and appropriate way to honor him and reinforce the central role of human rights in American foreign policy," said Senator Young.
“This proposed commission would honor Senator John McCain, who dedicated his life to promoting and protecting the democratic and moral values that we as Americans cherish,” Senator Rubio said. “In the Senate, he was a tireless champion for the God-given rights of all people and worked to expose violations of human dignity in the darkest corners of the world. Today, on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I am proud to join my colleagues in continuing that work in the days ahead.”
The text of the resolution is available here.