Six months after President Clinton signed the International Religious Freedom Act into law, members of Congress have completed their appointments to the new ten-member commission created by the law. But the President has not yet made his three appointments or requested funds for the commission, prompting some lawmakers to question Clinton's commitment to curbing religious persecution.
Democratic leadership named Theodore McCarrick, Catholic archbishop of New ark, New Jersey, and David Saperstein, a rabbi and director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
In December, Congressional Republicans appointed four commission members: Elliott Abrams, former assistant secretary of state for human rights; Bill Armstrong, a former U.S. senator from Colorado; John Bolton, former assistant secretary of state for international organizations; and Nina Shea, director of Freedom House.
Clinton has been criticized recently for delaying his appointments and for failing to provide funds for the commission in his budget request to Congress. "It says that he is all talk and no action," said Frank Wolf (R.-Va.) in a statement on the floor of the House of Representatives in February.
Clinton has nominated Robert Seiple, former head of World Vision, to the position of ambassador-at-large, the tenth and only nonvoting member of the commission.1
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