Text: S.Res.725 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (09/24/2020)

[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. Res. 725 Introduced in Senate (IS)]


  2d Session
S. RES. 725

            Establishing the Senate Human Rights Commission.



                           September 24, 2020

    Mr. Coons (for himself, Mr. Tillis, Mr. Jones, Ms. Collins, Mr. 
 Merkley, and Mr. Lankford) submitted the following resolution; which 
       was referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration



            Establishing the Senate Human Rights Commission.



    (a) Commission Establishment.--
            (1) In general.--There is established in the Senate the 
        Senate Human Rights Commission (in this section referred to as 
        the ``Commission'').
            (2) Duties.--The Commission shall--
                    (A) serve as a forum for bipartisan discussion of 
                international human rights issues and promotion of 
                internationally recognized human rights as enshrined in 
                the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
                    (B) raise awareness of international human rights 
                violations through regular briefings and hearings; and
                    (C) collaborate with congressional committees and 
                other congressional entities, the executive branch, 
                human rights entities, and nongovernmental 
                organizations to promote human rights initiatives 
                within the Senate.
            (3) Limitations.--The Commission shall not--
                    (A) have legislative jurisdiction;
                    (B) have authority to take legislative action on 
                any bill or resolution; or
                    (C) encroach upon the jurisdiction of any standing, 
                select, or special committee of the Senate.
            (4) Membership.--Any Senator may become a member of the 
        Commission by submitting a written statement to that effect to 
        the Commission.
            (5) Co-chairpersons of the commission.--
                    (A) In general.--Two members of the Commission 
                shall be appointed to serve as co-chairpersons of the 
                Commission, as follows:
                            (i) One co-chairperson shall be appointed, 
                        and may be removed, by the majority leader of 
                        the Senate.
                            (ii) One co-chairperson shall be appointed, 
                        and may be removed, by the minority leader of 
                        the Senate.
                    (B) Term.--The term of a member as a co-chairperson 
                of the Commission shall end on the last day of the 
                Congress during which the member is appointed as a co-
                chairperson, unless the member ceases being a member of 
                the Senate, leaves the Commission, resigns from the 
                position of co-chairperson, or is removed.
                    (C) Publication.--Appointments under this paragraph 
                shall be printed in the Congressional Record.
                    (D) Vacancies.--Any vacancy in the position of co-
                chairperson of the Commission shall be filled in the 
                same manner in which the original appointment was made.
    (b) Commission Staff.--
            (1) Compensation and expenses.--
                    (A) In general.--The Commission is authorized, from 
                funds made available under subsection (c), to--
                            (i) employ such staff in the manner and at 
                        a rate not to exceed that allowed for employees 
                        of a committee of the Senate under section 
                        105(e)(3) of the Legislative Branch 
                        Appropriation Act, 1968 (2 U.S.C. 4575(e)(3)); 
                            (ii) incur such expenses as may be 
                        necessary or appropriate to carry out its 
                        duties and functions.
                    (B) Expenses.--
                            (i) In general.--Payments made under this 
                        subsection for receptions, meals, and food-
                        related expenses shall be authorized only for 
                        actual expenses incurred by the Commission in 
                        the course of conducting its official duties 
                        and functions.
                            (ii) Treatment of payments.--Amounts 
                        received as reimbursement for expenses 
                        described in clause (i) shall not be reported 
                        as income, and the expenses so reimbursed shall 
                        not be allowed as a deduction under the 
                        Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
            (2) Designation of professional staff.--
                    (A) In general.--Each co-chairperson of the 
                Commission may designate 1 professional staff member.
                    (B) Compensation of senate employees.--In the case 
                of the compensation of any professional staff member 
                designated under subparagraph (A) who is an employee of 
                a Member of the Senate or of a committee of the Senate 
                and who has been designated to perform services for the 
                Commission, the professional staff member shall 
                continue to be paid by the Member or committee, as the 
                case may be, but the account from which the 
                professional staff member is paid shall be reimbursed 
                for the services of the professional staff member 
                (including agency contributions when appropriate) out 
                of funds made available under subsection (c).
                    (C) Duties.--Each professional staff member 
                designated under subparagraph (A) shall--
                            (i) serve all members of the Commission; 
                            (ii) carry out such other functions as the 
                        co-chairperson designating the professional 
                        staff member may specify.
    (c) Payment of Expenses.--
            (1) In general.--The expenses of the Commission shall be 
        paid from the Contingent Fund of the Senate, out of the account 
        of Miscellaneous Items, upon vouchers approved jointly by the 
        co-chairpersons (except that vouchers shall not be required for 
        the disbursement of salaries of employees who are paid at an 
        annual rate of pay).
            (2) Amounts available.--For any fiscal year, not more than 
        $200,000 shall be expended for employees and expenses.

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