Outgoing Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, R-La., the first Vietnamese-American congressman, is working to hold Vietnam’s feet to the fire on human rights issues during his last few weeks in the House. He has introduced two bills to achieve his goals, The Hill reports
The Vietnam Democracy Promotion Act of 2010 offers financial aid to promote freedom in the repressive country in addition to education and refugee resettlement programs. Meanwhile, the Vietnam Human Rights Sanctions Act would place financial sanctions on, and deny visas to, Vietnamese officials guilty of human-rights abuses.
Cao realizes he has a tough road ahead, given the many issues facing the lame-duck Congress. "Obviously there is always hope, but it's going to be extremely difficult," he tells The Hill.
The sanctions bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., the likely incoming chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Reps. Ed Royce, R-Calif., Chris Smith, R-N.J., Frank Wolf, R-Va., and Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif.
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