Dold Leads Bipartisan Effort on Human Rights The Lautenberg Amendment Included in Final Bill

From the office of Rep. Robert Dold (Ill., 10th District)…

WASHINGTON, DC – This fall, U.S. Congressman Robert Dold (IL-10) led a bipartisan group of colleagues in sending a letter to the House Leadership pushing for the reauthorization of the Lautenberg Amendment, which provides a critical lifeline for religious minorities trapped in countries like Iran and the former Soviet Union.  The Lautenberg Amendment was included in the omnibus bill that passed the House of Representatives today.

“It is important to remember that the freedoms we enjoy in this country are unmatched throughout the world,” said Dold.  “In countries like Iran, religious minorities are persecuted simply because of their faith.  On a daily basis Jews, Christians, Baha’is and other religious minorities face discrimination and brutality under the oppressive rule of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  I am pleased that leadership in Congress included this important bipartisan amendment that will bring hope and safety to people around the world who simply wish to worship freely.”

On June 1, 2011 the amendment expired and forced U.S. refugee processing facilities in Austria to shut down, leaving religious minorities seeking refuge with only dangerous alternatives.  Rep. Dold joined Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and co-authored a letter to House Speaker Boehner, Democratic Leader Pelosi, Majority Leader Cantor, and Minority Whip Hoyer urging for the swift reauthorization of the Lautenberg amendment.  House Leadership included the reauthorization of the Lautenberg Amendment in the final omnibus bill, providing safety for persecuted religious minorities.

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