On Thursday, outgoing Congressman Anh "Joseph" Cao introduced the Vietnam Democracy Promotion Act of 2010. The bill cites numerous human rights violations committed by the Vietnamese government against its own people.
The bill seeks to encourage Vietnam to improve its human rights record by funding the efforts of nongovernmental organizations and the Human Rights Defender Fund to promote freedom and democracy in Vietnam. The legislation would also withhold nonhumanitarian assistance to Vietnam's government until it improves its human rights record.
Cao, who leaves office January 2nd, said he will push for approval of the bill before the 111th Congress adjourns in December. Cao said, "It is imperative that we call the attention of the American public to Vietnam's abysmal record on human rights so that immediate pressure can be applied on Hanoi to respect the freedom and dignity of Vietnamese nationals. Winning congressional approval of the Vietnam Democracy Promotion Act will be a top priority in my final days in office."