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Politics

Congress Sends Marco Rubio's Religious Freedom Bill to Obama

December 14, 2016 - 2:30pm
Marco Rubio
Marco Rubio

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., scored a win this week as Congress sent his bill to ensure the State Department does more to protect religious liberty across the globe to President Barack Obama. 

Rubio teamed up with fellow Senate Republicans Roy Blount of Missouri and John Cornyn of Texas to introduce the “Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Act" back in April. The bill alters the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 by giving the International Religious Freedom Office in the State Department more authority and the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom more power, including reporting directly to the Secretary of State. 

The bill also creates a watch list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) while labeling non-state bodies “Entities of Particular Concern” when it comes to actions against religious freedom.  Rubio’s proposal would also give the White House the ability to sanction “individuals who carry out or order religious restrictions” and increases reporting on genocides directed at particular religions. 

The House backed the bill on Tuesday while the Senate passed it earlier in the month. 

“America was founded in part by people fleeing religious persecution, and the U.S. has a moral responsibility to be a champion for oppressed people around the world,” Rubio said on Tuesday after the House sent the bill to Obama. “When it comes to universal human rights that must be respected, few are more fundamental to the human spirit than the freedom to live out your faith according to your conscience, without fear of persecution, violence or imprisonment. But this right is under assault in every corner of the globe, and we must do more to defend it and counter the vicious attacks on religious minorities. Every day, the headlines speak to the necessity of this legislation—a bombing targeting peaceful worshippers at a Cairo church over the weekend, another deadly self-immolation in Tibet last week, and a mob attack against a mosque belonging to Pakistan’s beleaguered Ahmadiyya community just yesterday. So I’m glad we were able to get this bill done this year, and I commend Congressman Chris Smith for his leadership in passing this legislation. I urge President Obama to sign it without delay.”

When he brought it out in April, Rubio noted his bill did more against non-state actors including Islamic State (ISIS) terrorism. 

“People of faith around the world routinely find themselves in the crosshairs, not only of repressive and authoritarian states, but also of non-state actors like ISIL and Boko Haram. Wherever assaults on religious freedom occur, America has a moral responsibility to speak up and to act,” Rubio said. 

The House bill was sponsored by New Jersey Republican Chris Smith who Rubio praised as a “stalwart defender” of religious liberty when they brought the legislation out. More than 100 members of Congress are co-sponsoring Smith’s bill in the House including Florida Republicans Gus Bilirakis, John Mica, Rich Nugent, Bill Posey, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Dennis Ross, Dan Webster and Ted Yoho. 

 

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Comments

What a joke Rubio is. We sought his help when the City of Cape Coral Florida, his state, "CONDENMED GOD'S HOUSE, " deliberately violating the provisions of the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act of 1993, and the Florida Statute section 761.03, and then filing a SLAPP, Florida Statute 768.295 deliberate lawsuit to censor, intimidate, and silence their objections by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism and opposition, and Rubio looked the other way and ignored our plight. Shame on hypocrite Rubio and Shame on the City of Cape Coral Florida. www.havenofdivinelove.net

Yes, its all true what Mr. Valenta has stated.. As a resident and spiritual guide to these elderly residents of the Haven of divine Love Senior Center, I have personally witnessed the negative effects that the City of Cape Coral has had on these poor people. They wonder why no one has come to their defense and why the City continues to bind up the little funds the center has, in ridiculous law suits and wasted time in court that could ultimately cause them their homes.. The City has gone so low as to schedule hearings and not notify us, causing us too look like we deliberately do not show up to plead or defend the charges. They just keep piling on legal fees and doing anything they can to intimidate these poor people. We need to stand up to politicians with two faces like Rubio who just say what he thinks everyone wants to hear, instead of looking into legitimate complains against the city of Cape Coral .I'm sure were not the only non profit they have railroaded and bulldozed. Speak up people! The elderly should be able to live in any city and the fact that they are poor should never be a reason they cant be our neighbors. One day, this could happen to all of us!

Marco, Marco, Marco, wait till my book, Yes, Marni, There is No Place Like Cape Coral is published. www.thereisnoplacelikecapecoral.com I have a special chapter disclosing all of the fake politicians, including you, who, like the Priest and Levite, walked right by the beaten traveler (Good Samaritan Fable). Believe me, I'm not afraid to tell the world about phonies like you.

Ahhhh, Marco! You will NEVER be El Presidente! All you're in for is the popularity you think will come your way by coming up with lame legislative business with absolutely no teeth! Why not try doing something worthwhile FOR America?

Yes there is a little toothpick in the eyeball.

The right sentiment ... but pretty much just hot-air in terms of enforcement. Rubio's just trying to get and keep his name in the record.

May be Rubio ought to focus on the state that sent him to the Senate instead creating another layer of government to police religion in other countries.

You are right, Rubio does nothing unless it furthers his ambitions to move up in politics.

How do you "police" "non-State actors" Marco Polio??? Isn't that what we have been "attempting" for the last eight years under that feckless incompetent poser and his "out of their depths" Secretaries of State??? Our "Blood and Treasure" [our youth} is being expended on more battlefields than we can keep track of simply to buoy-up the incompetence of our "political elitist class". I ask you Citizens of America: Doesn't Marco Polio remind you of that kid (in your Jr. High School and High School classes ) who carried that big leather school bag everywhere EVERY day and couldn't stop raising his hand at EVERY opportunity to express and opine nonsensical answers in hopes he would someday be elected 'class president'? Marco Polio is prone to succumb to that same mistake as "that obtrusive kid in your class": He will "show-up & show-off" EVERYDAY in our faces, until he succeds in sickening us with his overbearing presence and "busywork" legislation designed to keep the name "Marco Polio" constantly on ALL of our news media outlets...

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