Friday, October 09, 2015

Congress Reauthorizes USCIRF For 4 Years In Bill Requiring New Strategic Plan

Yesterday Congress sent to the President for his signature S. 2078, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2015 (full text).  The bill extends the life of USCIRF until September 2019, funds it at $3.5 million for each year and creates a compromise arrangement on Commission reforms.  As reported by World News Service:
The bill is close to a clean reauthorization and does not include the reforms [Sen. Marco] Rubio sought in his bill. It also does not include the reforms Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., wanted, elements of which the international religious freedom community said would act as “poison pills” to the commission.
Instead, the legislation gives the commission 60 days to craft a strategic plan and conduct an organizational review. A unanimous commission vote (or a majority of both party appointees) would enact any proposed changes – such as designating ISIS, Boko Haram, and other non-state actors as “countries of particular concern.”
[Thanks to Blog From the Capital for the lead.]