NOVEMBER 29, 2022
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks on the Floor of the House of Representatives in support of H.R. 4785, the Uyghur Policy Act. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding and for her management of this very important legislation as a Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. It is my honor to stand on this Floor today in support of the Uyghur Policy Act and to join my colleague, for decades, Mr. Smith, we've been working together for human rights throughout the world. And today in China, as you and I, and Frank Wolf and so many others did over the years. So thank you for your leadership and your remarks on this important legislation.
Again, a strong step in our continued work to counter the genocide of the Uyghur people. In Xinjiang and across China, millions of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities are enduring outrageous and barbaric abuses, from mass surveillance and discriminatory policing, mass incarceration and forced labor camps and mass torture, including solitary confinement and sterilization. In its latest Human Rights Report, our own State Department has unequivocally declared that the Chinese Communist Party's persecution of the Uyghurs amounts to genocide and crimes against humanity. It is often said the most sinister and cruel form of torture employed by authoritarian regimes is to tell the oppressed, ‘Nobody even remembers you. They don't even know what the fuss is about.’ This Congress remains bipartisan, bicameral, unbreakable in our commitment to shining a bright light on the persecution of the Uyghurs. With this legislation, we send a powerful signal to the Uyghur people: America sees you, we stand with you and we're fighting with you. And we send a resounding message to Beijing: this genocide must end now.
My remarks go on to talk about the Uyghur Policy Act and what it does, in addition to what we passed in 2020 – the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act – in ‘21, the Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act. It includes establishment of a Special Coordinator at State to spearhead the effort and ensure laser-focus on the brutal conditions facing them.
For decades, the Chinese Communist Party has waged a campaign of cruelty, terror and repression, from cracking down on cultural, religious and the language of Tibet, intimidating the people of Taiwan, restricting basic freedoms in Hong Kong, jailing journalists and dissidents and more. We support and salute the courageous citizens across mainland China who are in the streets today speaking out for their freedom. I submit the rest of my – with the unanimous – I ask unanimous consent to submit the rest of my statement for the record.
But I also want to rise in support of legislation honoring the legendary leader in the Congress, Susan Davis, our colleague, Congresswoman from San Diego. She began her career in public service in her beloved San Diego, first in social work, then the school board, then the state assembly and now – and then the Armed Services Committee, Education and Labor Committee of the House of Representatives. I urge a strong bipartisan ‘yes’ for this bill honoring Susan Davis and also for the Uyghur Policy Act. And again, I thank our colleagues for bringing this legislation – these pieces of legislation to the Floor. I urge an ‘aye’ vote on both, and I yield back the balance of my time. Thank you.