The Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act vows to hold party members who traffic body parts accountable
The US House of Representatives almost unanimously passed legislation sanctioning organ traffickers on Monday. In its opening statement of policy, the legislation implies that the Chinese Communist Party is overrepresented in the organ trade.
The Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act of 2023 promises to "hold accountable persons implicated, including members of the Chinese Communist Party, in forced organ harvesting and trafficking in persons for purposes of the removal of organs."
While the text of the bill makes no further mention of China or any other country, its sponsor, Republican congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey, spoke at length about the heinous "crimes against humanity" the Party was supposedly guilty of.
"Every year, under General Secretary Xi Jinping and his Chinese Communist Party, between 60,000 to 100,000 young victims - average age 28 - are murdered in cold blood to steal their internal organs," Smith declared, adding that organs belonging to members of the Falun Gong sect are considered "highly desirable" due to their "peaceful meditation and exercise practices - and exceptional good health."
The bill allows the president to sanction anyone he claims "funds, sponsors, or otherwise facilitates forced organ harvesting or trafficking in persons for purposes of the removal of organs," imposing a $1 million fine and up to 20 years in prison, as well as revocation of any US passport or visa. It passed by a landslide vote of 413 to 2, with Republican representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Thomas Massie of Kentucky being the sole holdouts.
Explaining his "no" vote, Massie told Newsweek the legislation "gives the president unilateral broad authority to sanction individuals and politicians without any adjudication or due process." He was also troubled by the broad definition of "organ trafficker" as "anyone who receives or offers compensation for an organ donation."
Greene described the measure as "a flawed bill that encourages more US involvement in globalist organizations" in a statement to Newsweek.
The bill was previously introduced in 2021, 2020, and 2016 without the China-specific language, but no previous version ever made it past introduction into the House. It must still be passed by the Senate before going to President Joe Biden to sign.
US foreign policy has grown markedly more belligerent toward Beijing in recent months. Several high-ranking members of Congress have traveled to Taiwan in the last year, while Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen embarked on a trip to the US on Wednesday despite stern warnings from China.