Monday, September 26, 2011

Religious Freedom Commission faces defunding

WASHINGTON—The U.S. government’s resources for monitoring international religious freedom are already small and they may get smaller.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent government watchdog for abuses of religious freedom abroad, may cease to exist if the Senate doesn’t act over the weekend to reauthorize it. Congress leaves soon for a weeklong recess, depending on when the House and Senate resolve a spending bill to keep the government functioning, and the commission will shut down Sept. 30 without Senate reauthorization. One Democratic senator is apparently holding up the reauthorization, according to several sources.

If the 13-year-old commission does shut down next Friday (September 30th), Congress could still reauthorize it at any point, but all the commissioners would have to be reappointed and staff rehired—a process that could stall the commission’s work for a year or more. . . .

Read more here and also follow the progress of  HR 2867.

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