Personal Explanation on Rollcall Vote 23by Former Representative Frank R. Wolf
Posted on 2014-01-16
in the house of representatives
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Mr. WOLF. Mr. Speaker, today I missed roll call vote 22, on
consideration of a motion to recommit with instructions for H.R. 3362,
and rollcall vote 23, on final passage of H.R. 3362, the Exchange
Information Disclosure Act, because I was chairing the Tom Lantos Human
Rights Commission hearing on ``Defending Freedoms: Highlighting the
Plight of Prisoners of Conscience around the World.'' This hearing
addressed the plight of prisoners of conscience who are currently
unjustly detained by repressive governments all over the world and
explored strategies for securing their release.
[[Page E100]] Witnesses traveled at their own expense from across the country and all over the world, including Israel and Europe, to testify before the commission. We heard from Mr. Natan Sharansky, the noted human rights activist who spent nine years in the Soviet Gulag and current Chairman of the Executive for the Jewish Agency for Israel; Ms. Geng He, wife of imprisoned Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who was accompanied by Mr. Jared Genser, founder, Freedom Now and pro bono counsel for Gao Zhisheng; Mr. Josh Colangelo-Bryan, pro bono attorney on behalf of imprisoned Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab; and Mrs. Tran Thi Ngoc Minh, mother of imprisoned Vietnamese labor activist Do Thi Minh Hanh. Dr. Robert P. George, chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and Mr. Gal Beckerman, author, When They Come for Us We'll be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry also testified.
I felt it was important to continue this hearing as these witnesses were advocating for the lives of their friends and loved ones.
Had I been present I would have voted ``no'' on roll call 22, the motion to recommit, and ``aye'' on roll call 23, final passage of H.R. 3362, the Exchange Information Disclosure Act, as I fully support efforts to require transparency in the operation of American Health Benefit Exchanges.