116th Congress International Religious Freedom Congressional Scorecard


116th Congress International Religious Freedom Congressional Scorecard
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KEY TAKEAWAYS: Scoring for 116th Congress

S.1838 Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019

This law directs various departments to assess whether political developments in Hong Kong justify changing Hong Kong's unique treatment under U.S. law.

Primary Sponsor: Marco Rubio R-FL

Status: 11/19/19 Passed/agreed to in Senate; 11/20/19 Passed/agreed to in House; 11/27/19 Became Law, 56 Cosponsors


S.3744 Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020

This law imposes sanctions on foreign individuals and entities responsible for human rights abuses in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region and requires various reports on the topic.

Primary Sponsor: Marco Rubio R-FL

Status: 5/14/20 Passed/agreed to in Senate; 5/27/20 Passed/agreed to in House; 6/17/20 Became Law, 66 Cosponsors



01 Congress introduced 91 items (37 in the Senate and 54 in the House) relating to freedom of belief, freedom of conscience, or religion during the 116th Congress.

02 This activity represents a 21% decrease in the number of items introduced and scored in the 116th Congress versus the 115th Congress.

03 As was true with the 115th Congress, overall final scoring for the 116th Congress shows strong bipartisan support for IRF issues, with Democrats and Republicans working together sponsoring, cosponsoring, and voting on IRF legislation in the Senate and the House.

04 Thirty-eight percent (38) of all Senators scored "above average."

05 Thirty percent (131) of all Representatives scored "above average."

06 About one-third, (169) of Congressional members combined scored “above average.”

07 The Senate launched an Anti-Semitism Task Force during the 116th Congress.

08 Sixty two members of Congress (11.6%) are recognized as Notable Leaders for advancing IRF legislation during the 116th Congress.

09 Senator Marco Rubio R-FL and Congressman Brad Sherman D-CA earned top scores in the 116th Congress. See Notable Leaders listing for other members of Congress recognized for their engagement on IRF issues.

10 Thirty-three members of Congress (6.2%) participated in the Defending Freedoms Project by selecting one or more Prisoners of Conscience and advocating on their behalf. There are currently 23 prisoners from 12 countries without advocates (waiting to be selected) in this program.

11 Twelve items (12%) of all IRF legislative items are identified as "global" versus one particular region. The one "global" issue that was introduced in the 115th Congress and the 116th Congress is blasphemy.

12 As was true with the 115th Congress Scorecard, Asia topped the list of regions for IRF legislative focus during the 116th Congress. Forty-seven items were scored relevant to Asia which represents 51.6% of all IRF items scored during the 116th Congress.

13 Europe represented 7.7% of all items scored; Africa represented 4.4%.

14 The biggest shift in geographic focus from the 115th Congress to the 116th Congress is the reduction in IRF items related to Africa (from 9 to 4).

15 Uyghur human rights led IRF legislative activity with eight items introduced (9% of total in Senate and House).

16 Two items about the use of technology in China to monitor citizen activity were introduced in the Senate and the House.

17 Hong Kong threats to freedom and human rights represented 5.5% (5) of all IRF legislative activity in the 116th Congress.

18 Iran human rights violations, and persecution of Baha'i minority accounted for 6 (6.6%) items scored.”

19 Burma human rights and Rohingya genocide determination accounted for 4 items scored.

20 The 2019 Easter bombings in Sri Lanka spawned four legislative items with a fifth item focused on the 10th anniversary of civil war.


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