US SB1838 | 2019-2020 | 116th Congress


Completed Legislative Action
Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill
Status: Passed on November 27 2019 - 100% progression
Action: 2019-11-27 - Became Public Law No: 116-76. (TXT | PDF)
Text: Latest bill text (Enrolled) [PDF]


Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 This bill directs various departments to assess whether political developments in Hong Kong justify changing Hong Kong's unique treatment under U.S. law. (Hong Kong is part of China but has a largely separate legal and economic system.) The Department of State shall report and certify annually to Congress as to whether Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous from China to justify its unique treatment. The report shall address issues including (1) demands for universal suffrage; (2) law enforcement cooperation, including extradition requests; (3) sanctions enforcement and export controls; (4) decision-making within the Hong Kong government; (5) judicial independence; (6) civil liberties in Hong Kong, including freedom of assembly and freedom of the press; and (7) how any erosion to Hong Kong's autonomy impacts areas of U.S.-Hong Kong cooperation. The Department of Commerce shall report annually to Congress on China's efforts to use Hong Kong to evade U.S. export controls and sanctions and the extent of such violations occurring in Hong Kong generally. The report shall also (1) identify any items that were improperly reexported from Hong Kong, (2) assess whether dual-use items subject to U.S. export laws are being transshipped through Hong Kong, and (3) assess whether such dual-use items are being used to develop various mass-surveillance and predictive-policing tools or the social-credit system proposed for deployment in China. If the President determines that Hong Kong has proposed or enacted legislation that puts U.S. citizens at risk of extradition to mainland China or to another country that lacks defendants' rights protections, the President shall report to Congress on (1) a strategy for protecting U.S. citizens and businesses in Hong Kong, and (2) whether Hong Kong is legally competent to administer various law-enforcement agreements between Hong Kong and the United States. The State Department may not deny work- or student-visa applications from an otherwise qualified Hong Kong resident due to a politically motivated adverse action by the Hong Kong government against the applicant. The State Department shall encourage other democratic countries to take a similar approach. The President shall report to Congress a list of individuals responsible for committing acts that violate internationally recognized human rights in Hong Kong, including the extrajudicial rendition or torture of any person in Hong Kong. The bill bars such individuals from entering the United States and imposes sanctions on them.

Tracking Information

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Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019


Roll Calls

2019-11-20 - House - On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill RC# 635 (Y: 417 N: 1 NV: 13 Abs: 0) [PASS]


2019-11-27HouseBecame Public Law No: 116-76. (TXT | PDF)
2019-11-27HouseSigned by President.
2019-11-21HousePresented to President.
2019-11-20HouseMotion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
2019-11-20HouseOn motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 417 - 1 (Roll no. 635). (text: CR H9089-9092)
2019-11-20HouseConsidered as unfinished business. (consideration: CR H9100)
2019-11-20HouseAt the conclusion of debate, the Yeas and Nays were demanded and ordered. Pursuant to the provisions of clause 8, rule XX, the Chair announced that further proceedings on the motion would be postponed.
2019-11-20HouseDEBATE - The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on S. 1838.
2019-11-20HouseConsidered under suspension of the rules. (consideration: CR H9089-9096)
2019-11-20HouseMr. Engel moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill.
2019-11-20HouseHeld at the desk.
2019-11-20HouseReceived in the House.
2019-11-20SenateMessage on Senate action sent to the House.
2019-11-19SenatePassed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent. (text: CR S6657-6660)
2019-11-19SenateS.Amdt.1246 Amendment SA 1246 agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent.
2019-11-19SenateS.Amdt.1246 Amendment SA 1246 proposed by Senator Rubio. (consideration: CR S6657; text: CR S6676-6679) In the nature of a substitute.
2019-11-19SenateThe committee amendment withdrawn by Unanimous Consent. (CR S6657)
2019-11-19SenateMeasure laid before Senate by unanimous consent. (consideration: CR S6654-6660)
2019-09-26SenatePlaced on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 238.
2019-09-26SenateCommittee on Foreign Relations. Reported by Senator Risch with an amendment in the nature of a substitute. Without written report.
2019-09-25SenateCommittee on Foreign Relations. Ordered to be reported with an amendment favorably.
2019-06-13SenateRead twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

Same As/Similar To

HB3289 (Same As) 2019-10-16 - Received in the Senate. Read twice. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 243.


Arms control and nonproliferation
Congressional oversight
Criminal investigation, prosecution, interrogation
Detention of persons
Diplomacy, foreign officials, Americans abroad
Drug trafficking and controlled substances
Elections, voting, political campaign regulation
Foreign labor
Foreign property
Freedom of information
Government information and archives
Higher education
Hong Kong
Human rights
Intellectual property
Intelligence activities, surveillance, classified information
International affairs
International exchange and broadcasting
International organizations and cooperation
Middle East
News media and reporting
North Korea
Nuclear weapons
Presidents and presidential powers, Vice Presidents
Protest and dissent
Rule of law and government transparency
Sovereignty, recognition, national governance and status
Trade restrictions
Travel and tourism
Visas and passports
War and emergency powers

US Congress State Sources

Bill Comments