House Saves Religious Freedom Commission

12.16.11 | Jeremy Miller

The House of Representatives has given the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) a life boat. The office of Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Va.) confirmed that the House reached approved a bill to ensure that USCIRF will receive funding for an additional three years. The government watchdog group was set up in 1998 to advise the president, Congress and the State Department on religious persecution abroad. Wolf drafted the language for the commission's reauthorization and has been one of its strongest supporters.

"The commission is a beacon of hope for those whose most fundamental liberties are under assault," Wolf said in a statement. "These individuals long to have their plight known and their cause championed. I am grateful that Congress recognizes the importance of the work of the commission."

Funding for USCIRF originally expired in September. Congress funded the commission until November, but the group was still facing a potential shutdown until Friday’s House vote, which occurred the same day USCIRF’s was scheduled to fold if the bill wasn't approved.