Thank you for contacting me about S. 1649, the Vietnam Human Rights Act.
The Vietnam Human Rights Act was introduced by Senators Boozman and Cornyn on November 5, 2013. The bill seeks to condition an increase in non-humanitarian U.S. aid on progress by Vietnam in improving its human rights record. In particular, S. 1649 would prohibit any increase in annual U.S. military assistance to the Vietnamese government unless the President believes that the Vietnamese government has made substantial progress in promoting democratic governance and human rights, including freedom of religion and expression and the release of political and religious prisoners. The Vietnam Human Rights Act has been referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for further consideration.
I recognize that the Vietnamese government must do more to respect the human rights of its citizens. The Vietnamese people deserve to freely exercise their basic democratic rights, demand accountability from the leadership of the Vietnamese Communist Party, and be free from political imprisonment and other forms of repression. While a ban on lethal U.S. aid to Vietnam remains in effect, our diplomatic assistance seeks to advance democratic reforms and the work of civil society organizations that are promoting human rights and the rule of law.
Thank you again for reaching out to me about this issue, and I will keep your thoughts in mind if S. 1649 comes before the full Senate for a vote.
United States Senator
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