Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) is urging the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to pass his resolution calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to remove the 2022 games from China, citing “gross human rights violations” against Uighur Muslims.
China has come under fire for its treatment of the Uighur population, including placing 1 million Uighurs in internment camps, performing forced abortions and sterilizations of women and harvesting organs from Uighurs. China has denied widespread reports of abuse, claiming the camps are meant to "reeducate" members of the minority group.
The House of Representatives passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act of 2020 in September, which would require companies that are publicly traded in the United States and do business within the region to disclose information on their supply chains, including whether their products could be made by forced labor.
“As long as General Secretary Xi [Jinping] continues on this indefensible course, Communist China should absolutely not be rewarded with the 2022 Olympic Games,” Scott wrote in a letter to the committee, referring to China's president.
Scott’s bipartisan resolution, which was introduced in March, condemns China’s treatment of the Uighurs. The Florida senator said he brought the resolution to the floor with the backing of Foreign Relations Committee Chairman James Risch (R-Idaho) and urged his colleagues last week to pass it.
The GOP senator said Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDemocrats reject hardball tactics against Senate parliamentarian Biden threatens more sanctions on Ethiopia, Eritrea over Tigray conflict Failed drug vote points to bigger challenges for Democrats MORE (D-N.J.) blocked the proposal because he said it needed to be considered by the Foreign Relations Committee. Menendez, the top Democrat on the panel, tried to instead pass an unrelated bill to reform the temporary protected status program that Scott said had also not been through committee.
“I understand the Ranking Member prefers that resolutions receive committee consideration, and I welcome a Business Meeting that considers my resolution,” Scott wrote. “But given that this policy is not uniformly enforced ... I ask for your support to pass this resolution unanimously on the floor of the U.S. Senate.”
“I know you stand with me in the fight for human rights and for those oppressed by ruthless dictators around the world,” Scott continued. “I look forward to passing my resolution to condemn Communist China’s behavior and urge the IOC to find a new home for the 2022 Olympic Games.”
The Hill has reached out to Menendez's office for comment.
Senators have repeatedly weighed in on China's treatment of the Uighurs, with five GOP senators recently urging Netflix to “seriously reconsider” its plans to develop a series based on “The Three-Body Problem,” a novel by by Liu Cixin, over his remarks supporting the Chinese government’s treatment of the Uighur population in the Xinjiang province.