Pelosi Remarks at Bill Enrollment Ceremony for the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019

Nov 21, 2019
Press Release

Contact: Speaker’s Press Office,
202-226-7616

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Members of Congress for a bill enrollment ceremony for S.1838, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, which passed the House on a 417 – 1 vote.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.  Good morning, everyone.  And a good morning it is.  

This is a proud day for Congress, for our values and for our support of the democratic, freedom-loving people of Hong Kong. 

I thank Chairman McGovern and Rank – well, we have so many people to thank, because this is bipartisan and bicameral.  In the House, on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Representative Elliot Engel and Ranking Member McCaul worked so hard on this.  

A champion on this issue for decades is Congressman Chris Smith.

On the Senate side, we’re proud to welcome Leader Schumer and Senator Merkley for the good work that was done over there, in a bipartisan manner, as well. 

I want to acknowledge Mr. McGovern, who’s been involved in all of these issues so long, as the Chairman of the Rules Committee, but also the Chair of the Lantos Human Rights Commission, as well as the U.S.-China Commission, the bipartisan commission that studies these issues. 

So, again, thank you all for your leadership.

With the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, we reaffirm America’s commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law in the face of Beijing’s crackdown.  And we, again – very proud to pass legislation lead by Chairman McGovern and Senator Merkey to suspend sales of ammunitions to Hong Kong’s police force.  So, there are two bills that we will be signing here today.  

Sadly, without question, China’s promise of full autonomy for Hong Kong has been utterly broken.  For years, the world has seen the people of Hong Kong be increasingly denied their full autonomy and faced with a cruel crackdown of their freedoms.  Most recently, the violent attacks against students at Hong Kong Polytechnic University have shocked us all. 

In America – If America does not speak up for human rights in Hong Kong because of commercial issues, we lose all moral authority to speak about human rights anywhere in the world.   

With these bills, we say America stands on the side of freedom and justice.  America stands with the freedom-loving people of Hong Kong.  

And we’ve been doing this, Mr. Smith and I, for three decades now, with Frank Wolf and others over time.  So, we have seen – worked with, now, a third generation of democracy leaders.  It started with Martin Lee way back when, right after Tiananmen Square and then into this century, with another generation of leaders.  And, now, with Jason Wong, Nathan Law and others there. 

What’s interesting is though, all three generations are still working on the issue.  As are we. 

So for us, this is a very proud day.  

And, proud I am to welcome back to the House side, a member of the United States Senate, the Democratic Leader.  We take great pride in his leadership and service in the House, we take pride in his leadership and service in the Senate:  Leader Schumer. 

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Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you very much Ranking Member McCaul.  You and Chairman Eliot Engel have been so instrumental in giving us this opportunity to bring in this legislation to the Floor.  We thank you, and we thank you, Distinguished Chairman Engel. 

And now, with that, I have the pleasure of signing this legislation and doing so, we will enroll the legislation, as passed by the House and the Senate.  And we will send them immediately – the bills immediately to the President of the United States, in a -– with strong bipartisan votes, unanimous in the Senate, unanimous on one bill in the House, except 400 and something to one on another bill.  It doesn’t get any – it hardly gets any better than that. 

We’re very proud.  It’s, again, a good day.  It’s a day of mutual respect for democratic freedoms, the courage of the young people there to speak out and also a day of great bipartisanship in the House of Representatives and the United States Senate. 

We send that message from the Congress – from the Congress, to the President. 

***

Speaker Pelosi.  Mr. Schumer suggested I add D’Alessandro in there, so I can use more pens. 

[Laughter] 

Thank you all very much, again, for your leadership.  Thank you so much.  We will send you the documentation to go with this.  Thank you.

[Applause] 

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