Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding Secretary of State Pompeo’s proposed Commission on Unalienable Rights:

“This commission risks undermining many international human-rights norms that the United States helped establish, including LGBTQI rights and other critical human rights protections around the world. Decades ago, Congress created an entire bureau in the State Department dedicated to defending and reporting on human rights and advising the Secretary and senior diplomats on human rights and democratic development. Now the Secretary wants to make an end run around established structures, expertise, and the law to give preference to discriminatory ideologies that would narrow protections for women, including on reproductive rights; for members of the LGBTQI community; and for other minority groups.

“Despite repeated requests to the Department, the Secretary and his staff provided little information on the proposed Commission for more than a month, responding vaguely only at the 11th hour. That’s why I cosponsored a measure that recently passed the House to prohibit funding for this bizarre effort. There is no place for this at our State Department, which should be a leading voice around the world in protecting and promoting human rights for all.”

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