There is established the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Members of the Commission shall be selected among distinguished individuals noted for their knowledge and experience in fields relevant to the issue of international religious freedom, including foreign affairs, direct experience abroad, human rights, and international law.
The term of office of each member of the Commission shall be 2 years. An individual, including any member appointed to the Commission prior to December 23, 2011, shall not serve more than 2 terms as a member of the Commission under any circumstance. For any member serving on the Commission on such date who has completed at least 2 full terms on the Commission, such member’s term shall expire 90 days after such date. A member of the Commission may not serve after the expiration of that member’s term.
Of the three members of the Commission appointed by the President under subsection (b)(1)(B)(i), two shall be appointed to a 1-year term and one shall be appointed to a 2-year term.
Of the three members of the Commission appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate under subsection (b)(1)(B)(ii), one of the appointments made upon the recommendation of the leader in the Senate of the political party that is not the political party of the President shall be appointed to a 1-year term, and the other two appointments under such clause shall be 2-year terms.
Of the three members of the Commission appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives under subsection (b)(1)(B)(iii), one of the appointments made upon the recommendation of the leader in the House of the political party that is not the political party of the President shall be to a 1-year term, and the other two appointments under such clause shall be 2-year terms.
The term of each member of the Commission appointed to a 1-year term shall be considered to have begun on May 15, 2003, and shall end on May 14, 2004, regardless of the date of the appointment to the Commission. Each vacancy which occurs upon the expiration of the term of a member appointed to a 1-year term shall be filled by the appointment of a successor to a 2-year term.
Each appointment of a member to a two-year term shall identify the member succeeded thereby, and each such term shall end on May 14 of the year that is at least two years after the expiration of the previous term, regardless of the date of the appointment to the Commission.
At the first meeting of the Commission after May 30 of each year, a majority of the members of the Commission who are present and voting shall elect a Chair and a Vice Chair. The Vice Chair shall have been appointed by an officeholder from a different political party than the officeholder who appointed the member of the Commission who was elected Chair. The positions of Chair and Vice Chair shall be rotated annually between members who were appointed to the Commission by officeholders of different political parties.
Six voting members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for purposes of transacting business.
Each year, within 15 days, or as soon as practicable, after the issuance of the International Religious Freedom Report, the Commission shall convene. The Commission shall otherwise meet at the call of the Chair or, if no Chair has been elected for that calendar year, at the call of six voting members of the Commission.
Any vacancy of the Commission shall not affect its powers, but shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made. A member may serve after the expiration of that member’s term until a successor has taken office. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of the term for which the member’s predecessor was appointed shall be appointed only for the remainder of that term.
Members of the Commission shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence at rates authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5 while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Commission. Members of the Commission shall comply with the requirements set forth in chapters 300 through 304 of title 41, Code of Federal Regulations (commonly known as the “Federal Travel Regulation”) and the Department of State Standardized Regulations governing authorized travel at government expense, including regulations concerning the mode of travel, lodging and per diem expenditures, reimbursement payments, and expense reporting and documentation requirements.
If a payment is made under section 415(a) of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1415(a)) for an award or settlement in connection with a claim alleging a violation of unlawful harassment, intimidation, reprisal, or discrimination under the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1301 et seq.) that was committed personally by an individual who, at the time of committing the violation, was a Member of the Commission, the Member shall be removed from the Commission.