[Pages S12984-S12985]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




TRIBUTE TO STAFF MEMBERS WHO AIDED IN THE PASSAGE OF THE INTERNATIONAL 
                     RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ACT OF 1998

  Mr. NICKLES. Mr. President, in my floor remarks preceding the passage 
of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 on October 9, 1998, 
I recognized three persons for their many hours of work and their 
important leadership roles in guiding this legislation to passage--
Steve Moffitt of my

[[Page S12985]]

staff, John Hanford on the staff of Senator Richard Lugar, and Cecile 
Shea with Senator Joseph Leiberman.
  I would like to take this opportunity to add to this honor roll the 
names of several additional congressional staff whose efforts were 
essential to the crafting and historic passage of this legislation. 
Often when legislation is passed into law, we, who work in Congress, 
never have the full benefit of seeing the aid and blessing which our 
efforts bring to others. This will assuredly be the case for this small 
group of staff who worked with such dedication and excellence for the 
passage of the International Religious Freedom Act. Their work has now 
received the unanimous acclaim of both Houses of Congress, as the 
Senate voted 98-0 in favor of this bill, followed the next day by a 
unanimous voice vote in the House. But, more importantly, I hope that 
these individuals will rest in the satisfaction that their selfless 
efforts will, for decades to come, redound to the benefit of countless 
persons around the world imprisoned, tortured, or otherwise persecuted 
or restricted in the practice of their religious beliefs. This is an 
extraordinary and noble service which they have rendered to persons of 
faith throughout the world, and I believe that it is important that we, 
as a congressional body, recognize their role in this historic 
achievement.
  First, I wish to recognize two House staff members for their 
brilliant and tireless work, beginning at the very inception of the 
International Religious Freedom Act and carrying all the way through to 
its final passage. Laura Bryant of the office of Congressman Bob 
Clement and William Inboden, formerly with Congressman Tom DeLay, were 
two of the original ``visionaries'' for this bill, and their compassion 
for suffering believers as well as their expertise on issues of 
religious persecution are reflected on every page of the bill. I am 
deeply grateful for their extraordinary contribution to this landmark 
legislation.
  In the Senate, I wish to express special commendation to Jim Jatras, 
Foreign Affairs Specialist with the Republican Policy Committee. Mr. 
Jatras is one of the most distinguished analysts of foreign policy on 
Capitol Hill and is a person to whom I have often turned for expert 
counsel. In the case of the International Religious Freedom Act, Mr. 
Jatras contributed vitally, both to the substance of the bill and to 
the process of negotiation which led to its passage.
  I wish, also, to express warmest thanks to Elaine Petty, with the 
staff of Senator Connie Mack, who was a leading original cosponsor of 
this act. Ms. Petty contributed many hours of work over the past 6 
months toward the passage of this bill, and her efforts were especially 
important in discussions with other Senate offices and outside groups.
  Special commendation is reserved for the remarkable expertise 
demonstrated by Art Rynearson, Senior Counsel with the Office of Senate 
Legislative Counsel. Mr. Rynearson labored through numerous drafts of 
this bill, and distinguished himself by his command of the process of 
legislative drafting, by his patience and perseverance, and by his 
commitment to excellence in creation of U.S. law. The Senate staffers 
which worked most closely with him have expressed deep gratitude for 
his spirit of teamwork on this year-long endeavor.
  In addition, I wish to express gratitude to Polly Craighill, who also 
serves on the staff of Senate Legislative Counsel. Ms. Craighill 
stepped in at a critical moment in the development of this act and 
provided expert assistance requiring personal sacrifice on her part.
  Finally, I would like to recognize the important contributions made 
by several of the senior staff at Congressional Research Service. Larry 
Eig, Legislative Attorney, Joyce Vialet, Refugee Affairs Expert, Vita 
Bite, Foreign Affairs Expert, Jeanne Grimmet, Legislative Attorney, and 
Dianne Rennack, Foreign Affairs Expert, all made important 
contributions to the careful work of researching and scrutinizing 
issues involved in the content of this bill.

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