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Save the Human Rights Subcommittee 

New International Relations Committee Chair May Seek to Dissolve Key House Subcommittee Take Action Today

THE INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS SUBCOMMITTEE MAY BE ELIMINATED. This subcommittee of the House of Representatives International Relations (IR) Committee has been a leading advocate for human rights in East Timor, Indonesia and elsewhere. Human Rights Subcommittee Chair Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Ranking Member Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) have introduced, co-sponsored, and passed through their subcommittee legislation crucial for upholding human rights. This subcommittee is vital to ensure human rights are a primary consideration in congressional action on U.S. foreign policy.

As Rep. Ben Gilman (R-NY) completes his term as IR Committee Chair, his replacement is likely to try to eliminate the Human Rights Subcommittee in order to make space for a new subcommittee (under current rules, there can only be five). One easy remedy would be a waiver allowing for a sixth subcommittee. In any case, we cannot afford to lose this critical venue. Human rights deserve separate subcommittee consideration; dissolving the subcommittee would represent a setback for human rights around the world.

Call Today!

Call or fax current House leaders: 

· Republican Speaker Dennis Hastert (IL) at 202-225-2976 or 225-0697 (fax)

· Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey (TX) at 202-225-7772 or 225-7614 (fax)

· Republican International Relations Committee Chair Ben Gilman (NY) at 202-225-3776 or 225-2541 (fax)

· Democratic Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (MO) at 202-225-2671 or 202-225-7452 (fax)

· Democratic Minority Whip David Bonior (MI) at 202-225-2106 or 226-1169 (fax)

· Democratic Ranking Member of the International Relations Committee Sam Gejdenson (CT) at 202-225-2076 or 225-4977 (fax)

· Your own Representative. (If you don’t know who that is, call your local League of Women Voters or visit and type in your zip code.)

Ask for the foreign policy staffer. Register your support for the Human Rights Subcommittee and your opposition to its elimination for any reason.

For more information, contact Karen Orenstein at East Timor Action Network’s Washington office at or 202-544-6911.

December 4, 2000

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