Durbin Statement On Senate Passage Of Hong Kong Human Rights And Democracy Act

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke in support of the bipartisan Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, of which Durbin is a cosponsor.  The legislation passed the Senate by unanimous consent.

“With the situation deteriorating by the hour in Hong Kong, the passage of the legislation couldn’t be more timely.  I urge my colleagues in the House to take action quickly after we have acted,” Durbin said.  “This bill sends an important message of bipartisan support from the U.S. Congress for the democratic aspirations of the broad majority of the people of Hong Kong.” 

Durbin continued, “I have been moved by the courageousness of the pro-democracy protestors in the face of increasingly excessive use of force by Hong Kong police in one of the most vibrant cities in the world.  Ultimately I believe the Hong Kong government and the protestors are capable of finding a solution, and I hope that they do.”

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 directs various departments to assess whether political developments in Hong Kong justify changing Hong Kong's unique treatment under U.S. law.  The legislation would require the Secretary of State to certify at least once a year that Hong Kong still retains enough autonomy to warrant the special U.S. trading consideration that bolsters its status as a world financial center.  It also would provide sanctions against officials responsible for human rights violations in Hong Kong.