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Tillis & Coons Reintroduce Bipartisan Resolution to Establish a Human Rights Commission in Honor of the Late Senator McCain

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE), co-chairs of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, reintroduced a resolution to establish a John S. McCain III Human Rights Commission, modeled after the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the U.S. House of Representatives. If passed, the resolution would create a bipartisan commission to examine human rights violations through regular hearings and briefings, and promote human rights initiatives in the Senate. Joining Senators Coons and Tillis in introducing the resolution were Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ed Markey (D-MA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).

“Our late friend and colleague John McCain understood that promoting and defending human rights was a cornerstone of America’s foreign policy and an inherent way of advancing American values, from leading the passage of the Magnitsky Act to sanctioning authoritarian regimes that hold contempt for human life,” said Senator Tillis. “It’s an honor to join Senator Coons in proposing the establishment of the McCain Human Rights Commission, which will carry on John McCain’s legacy of shining a light on human rights abuses across the world and building bipartisan coalitions to take action.”

“Senator McCain was a remarkable man who used his role in the Senate to advocate for human rights and to stand up for people around the world who were denied basic freedoms. He embodied our country’s values and understood the critical role of the United States in promoting human rights across the globe,” said Senator Coons. “I am hopeful that we can advance this legislation and honor Senator McCain’s legacy by establishing a bipartisan commission here in the Senate that is dedicated to raising awareness about human rights abuses and promoting human liberty around the world.”

“Senator McCain believed that the United States can be an indispensable leader in promoting human rights abroad, and in doing so, advance our own interests and strengthen international norms that can foster equality and prosperity for all,” said Senator Markey. “I am honored to support a human rights commission that will honor Senator McCain’s contributions to American leadership and ensure Congress can maintain the defense of human rights as a foundational principle of our foreign policy.”

“This proposed commission would honor Senator John McCain, who dedicated his life to promoting and protecting the democratic and moral values that we as Americans cherish,” Senator Rubio said. “In the Senate, he was a tireless champion for the God-given rights of all people and worked to expose violations of human dignity in the darkest corners of the world. I am proud to join my colleagues in continuing that work in the days ahead.”

“Senator McCain recognized that America’s stature on the world stage came from our moral standing, and that one of the greatest foreign policy tools we hold is our support for human rights,” said Senator Merkley. “This proposal honors both his tremendous legacy as an individual, and our nation’s legacy as a defender of human rights across the globe.”


“John McCain was an Arizona hero and a champion for human rights across the globe. He fiercely promoted the dignity and rights of all people, and his leadership still profoundly inspires me. I am honored to support a human rights commission named for John McCain as a fitting tribute to his legacy,” said Senator Sinema.

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