skip to main content

S. 1838 (116th): Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019

About the bill

The legislation recently unanimously passed both a Senate and House committee.


Millions of Hong Kong citizens have peacefully protested and demonstrated since June, in marches and rallies that have grabbed the world’s attention. Held at first in response to a specific legislative bill proposing easier extraditions, the protests later metastasized into a more all-encompassing demand for governmental reforms.

Hong Kong is a special “administrative region,” formally part of the United Kingdom for about 150 years, but now part of China since a 1997 changeover. Although the changeover’s terms originally required China to pledge a generally hands-off approach to Hong Kong, certainly much more so than the heavy governmental control China applies to the rest of their nation, China has gradually ramped up control since 1997.

This summer’s proposed bill …

Sponsor and status

Marco Rubio

Sponsor. Senior Senator for Florida. Republican.

Read Text »
Last Updated: Nov 21, 2019
Length: 12 pages
Jun 13, 2019
116th Congress (2019–2021)

Enacted — Signed by the President on Nov 27, 2019

This bill was enacted after being signed by the President on November 27, 2019.

Pub.L. 116-76

56 Cosponsors (29 Republicans, 26 Democrats, 1 Independent)


Position statements

What legislators are saying

Rubio, Cardin, Risch, Menendez Applaud Signing of Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act into Law
    — Sen. Marco Rubio [R-FL] (Sponsor) on Nov 27, 2019

Cardin, Rubio, Risch, Menendez Praise House Passage Of Hong Kong Human Rights And Democracy Act
    — Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D-MD] (Co-sponsor) on Nov 20, 2019

Rep. Soto Calls for Senate Action on Key House-Passed Bills and Highlights Some Key Bipartisan Achievements for the Year
    — Rep. Darren Soto [D-FL9] on Jan 13, 2020

More statements at ProPublica Represent...

What stakeholders are saying

R Street Institute estimates S. 1838 will add $1 million in new spending through 2024.

Incorporated legislation

This bill incorporates provisions from:

H.R. 3289: Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019

Passed House (Senate next) on Oct 15, 2019. 51% incorporated. (compare text)


Jun 13, 2019

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

Sep 25, 2019
Ordered Reported

A committee has voted to issue a report to the full chamber recommending that the bill be considered further. Only about 1 in 4 bills are reported out of committee.

Nov 19, 2019
Passed Senate (House next)

The bill was passed in a vote in the Senate. It goes to the House next. The vote was by Unanimous Consent so no record of individual votes was made.

Nov 20, 2019
Passed House

The bill was passed by both chambers in identical form. It goes to the President next who may sign or veto the bill.

Nov 27, 2019
Enacted — Signed by the President

The President signed the bill and it became law.

S. 1838 (116th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number S. 1838. This is the one from the 116th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 116th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2019 to Jan 3, 2021. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“S. 1838 — 116th Congress: Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019.” 2019. August 17, 2022 <>

Where is this information from?

GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from, the official portal of the United States Congress. is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.