Legislation in Congress

Many pieces of legislation addressing Tibet have been considered by the United States Congress. Some of them are found below. While not all the legislative measures introduced in the Senate or House of Representives have been passed or signed into law, their significance often lies in reflecting the prevailing sentiment of Congress.

In addition to the Senate’s consideration of treaties, there are four types of legislation Congress may consider. Each type must overcome a number of hurdles in the legislative process to pass.

For a more comprehensive survey on legislation introduced in the Congress go to Thomas, the Library of Congress’ Legislative website.

U.S. Congressional Legislation

  • Senate Resolution 200 of 2015
    Honoring His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his 80th Birthday
    Senator Feinstein introduced a resolution honoring His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his 80th birthday, and recognizing the outstanding contributions His Holiness has made to the promotion of nonviolence, human rights, interfaith dialogue, environmental awareness, and democracy.
  • House Resolution 337 of 2015
    It calls on the United States Government to fully implement sections 613(a) and 621(c) of the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 by strongly encouraging representatives of the Government of the People’s Republic of China and His Holiness the Dalai Lama to hold substantive dialogue, in keeping with the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 and without preconditions, in order to address Tibetan grievances and secure a negotiated agreement for the Tibetan people.
  • House Resolution 1112 of 2015
    H.R. 1112 – Bipartisan legislation introduced, but not passed, to promote travel by Americans to Tibetan areas where access is routinely denied by Chinese authorities. The legislation would deny access to the United States by Chinese officials who are responsible for creating or administering policies on travel to Tibetan areas until China eliminates discriminatory restrictions on access by Americans to Tibet. It cites the diplomatic principle of reciprocity, wherein “a country should give equivalent consular access to the nationals of another country in a reciprocal manner to the consular access granted by such other country to its own citizens.”
  • House Resolution 2679 of 2015
    H.R. 2679 – US Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) reintroduced the Tibetan Refugee Assistance Act on June 4, 2015 to provide 3,000 immigrant visas to qualified displaced Tibetans over a three-year period. Unfortunately, the lack of progress on a larger immigration reform bill prevented H.R. 2679 from moving any further.
  • House Resolution 584 of 2015
    H.Res.584 – Introduced by Rep. Capuano, this resolution urged the President to seek an independent inquiry into Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s death, and publicly call for an end to China’s repressive policies in Tibet each time the President meets with Chinese officials. It also urged China to halt suppression of the religious, cultural, social, economic, and environmental rights of the Tibetan people in Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s home regions of Lithang and Nyagchu and across all areas of traditional Tibet.
  • Senate Resolution 356 of 2012
    S.Res.356 – A resolution expressing support for the people of Tibet
    Commends the Dalai Lama for his decision to devolve his political power in favor of a democratic system. Congratulates Tibetans living in exile for holding, on March 20, 2011, a free election that met international electoral standards. Reaffirms the friendship between the United States and Tibet.
  • Senate Resolution 557 of 2012
    S.Res.557 – A resolution honoring the contributions of Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari as Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and in promoting the legitimate rights and aspirations of the Tibetan people.
  • House Resolution 609 of 2012
    H.Res.609 introduced in 2012 expressing support for the people of Tibet. It commends His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his decision to devolve his political power in favor of a democratic system; congratulates Tibetans living in exile for holding, on March 20, 2011, a competitive, multi-candidate election that was free, fair, and met international electoral standards; and reaffirms the unwavering friendship between the people of the United States and the people of Tibet.
  • House Resolution 338 of 2011
    H.Res.338 – Introduced by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton [D-DC-At Large] Welcoming His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to Washington, DC, and recognizing his commitment to world peace, nonviolence, human rights, religious freedom, and democracy.
  • House Resolution 699 of 2011
    H.R.699 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)
    Tibetan Refugee Assistance Act of 2011
    US Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced the Tibetan Refugee Assistance Act in 2011 to provide 3,000 immigrant visas to qualified displaced Tibetans over a three-year period.
  • House Resolution 1324 of 2010
    H.Res.1324 – Expressing condolences and sympathies for the people of China following the tragic earthquake in the Qinghai province of the Peoples Republic of China on April 14, 2010.
  • House Resolution 226 of 2009
    H.Res.226 – Recognizing the plight of the Tibetan people on the 50th anniversary of His Holiness the Dalai Lama being forced into exile and calling for a sustained multilateral effort to bring about a durable and peaceful solution to the Tibet issue.
  • House Resolution 1340 of 2009
    H.R.1340 Tibetan Refugee Assistance Act of 2009
    Introduced in House (03/05/2009) Rep. George Miller, [D-CA-7]
    Tibetan Refugee Assistance Act of 2009 – Makes 3,000 immigrant visas in FY2010-FY2012 available to individuals who: (1) were born in Tibet; and (2) have been continuously residing in India or Nepal prior to the date of the enactment of this Act. Makes such visas available to the sons, daughters, grandsons, or granddaughters of such individuals.
  • House Resolution 6536 of 2008
    H.R.6536 – Tibetan Refugee Assistance Act of 2008. Introduced in House by Rep. George Miller, [D-CA-7]
  • Tibetan Refugee Assistance Act of 2008
    Makes 3,000 immigrant visas available to individuals who: (1) were born in Tibet; and (2) have been continuously residing in India or Nepal prior to the date of the enactment of this Act. Makes such visas available to the sons, daughters, grandsons, or granddaughters of such individuals.
  • Senate Resolution 643 of 2008
    Introduced by Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon
    S.Res.643 – A resolution calling for greater dialogue between the Dalai Lama and the Government of China regarding rights for the people of Tibet, and for other purposes.
  • Senate Resolution 504 of 2008
    S.Res.504 of 2008 – A resolution condemning the violence in Tibet and calling for restraint by the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the people of Tibet. Urges that the agreement permitting the PRC to open further diplomatic missions in the United States should be contingent upon establishment of a U.S. government office in Lhasa, Tibet.
  • House Resolution 1077 of 2008
    H.Res.1077 – Calling on the Government of the People’s Republic of China to end its crackdown in Tibet and enter into a substantive dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama to find a negotiated solution that respects the distinctive language, culture, religious identity, and fundamental freedoms of all Tibetans, and for other purposes.
  • House Resolution 1075 of 2008
    H.Res.1075 introduced by Rep. Chris Smith. Condemning the Chinese Government’s unwarranted violence against Tibetan protesters, the Chinese Government’s use of Internet censorship and surveillance to control news of the protests, and urging compliance with Chinese criminal law and to provide information and access to all persons detained.
  • House Resolution 1334 of 2008
    H.Res.1334 – Introduced by Rep. Steve Chabot [R-OH-1] . Calling upon the Government of China to account for those detained during March 2008 protests and to recognize the fundamental human rights of all Tibetans, including monks, nuns, and innocent civilians, currently detained by the Government of China.
  • House Concurrent Resolution 196 of 2007
    H.Con.Res.196 – Authorizing the use of the rotunda and grounds of the Capitol for a ceremony to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.
  • House Resolution on Congressional Gold Medal to Dalai Lama of 2006
    The US House of Representatives on September 13, 2006 passed a bill to award the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled leader, the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian honor. The award is in recognition of the Dalai Lama’s advocacy of religious harmony, non-violence, and human rights throughout the world and for his efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Tibet issue through dialogue with the Chinese leadership. The bill was cosponsored by 387 members of US House and Senate.
  • Senate Resolution 2784
    The bill (S. 2784) to award a congressional gold medal to Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, in recognition of his many enduring and outstanding contributions to peace, non-violence, human rights, and religious understanding, was considered, ordered to be engrossed for a third reading, read the third time, and passed.
  • Senate Resolution 483
    Expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the detention of Tibetan political prisoners by the Government of the People’s Republic of China.
  • Senate Resolution 212
    Welcoming His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and recognizing his commitment to non-violence, human rights, freedom, and democracy.
  • House Resolution 157
    Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the Government of the People’s Republic of China should, as a gesture of goodwill and in order to promote human rights, immediately release all prisoners of conscience, including Phuntsog Nyidron.
  • House Resolution 410
    Whereas Jiang Zemin, President of the People’s Republic of China, is scheduled to visit the United States in October of 2002.
  • House Resolution 476
    Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding several individuals who are being held as prisoners of conscience by the Chinese Government for their involvement in efforts to end the Chinese occupation of Tibet.
  • Senate Resolution 252
    Expressing the sense of the Senate regarding human rights violations in Tibet, the Panchen Lama, and the need for dialogue between the Chinese leadership and the Dalai Lama or his representatives.
  • House Resolution 357
    Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the recognition of the authorities of Tibet who are currently exiled in Dharamsala, India, as the legitimate representatives of Tibet.
  • House Resolution 1646: Tibetan Policy Act of 2002, and other provisions
    The Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 is contained in Title VI of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003. Enrolled in the U.S. Congress as H.R. 1646 and became Pub. Law 107-228.
  • House Resolution 1779: The Tibetan Policy Act of 2001
    As introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. To support the aspirations of the Tibetan people to safeguard their distinct identity. It was passed under House Resolution 1646.
  • S. 852: The Tibetan Policy Act of 2001
    As introduced in the United States Senate. To support the aspirations of the Tibetan people to safeguard their distinct identity. It was passed under House Resolution 1646.
  • House Resolution 4444: Permanent Normal Trade Relations With China
    To authorize extension of nondiscriminatory treatment (normal trade relations treatment) to the People’s Republic of China, and to establish a framework for relations between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. Passed in the House and Senate, and signed into law October 10, 2000.
  • Senate Resolution 60: 41st Anniversary of the Lhasa Uprising
    Recognizing the plight of the Tibetan people on the forty-first anniversary of Tibet’s 1959 Lhasa uprising and calling for serious negotiations between China and the Dalai Lama to achieve a peaceful solution to the situation in Tibet.
  • House Resolution 389
    Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives with respect to a dialog between the People’s Republic of China and Tibet.
  • House Concurrent Resolution 156
    Expressing the sense of Congress supporting World Tibet Day.
  • Senate Concurrent Resolution 103
    Expressing the sense of the Congress in support of the recommendations of the International Commission of Jurists on Tibet and on United States policy with regard to Tibet.