Washington, DC – The House of Representatives approved legislation last night to award the Congressional Gold Medal to His Holiness, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, in recognition of his advocacy of peace, tolerance, human rights, non-violence, and compassion throughout the world.
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who introduced the legislation in the Senate with Senator Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.), today welcomed the passage of the bill. The Senate approved the legislation on May 26.
“The Dalai Lama is a worthy recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal. He is one of the world’s greatest religious leaders and has used human compassion, courage and conviction as his tools in carving a path for peace. For half a century, he has struggled to better the lives of the Tibetan people. In doing so, he has been a shining light to all those fighting for freedom around the world,” Senator Feinstein said.
The “Fourteenth Dalai Lama Congressional Gold Medal Act” was introduced in the House by Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Tom Lantos (D-Calif.). It passed yesterday evening with a voice vote. The bill now moves to the President’s desk for his signature.
Congressional Gold Medals require approval from at least two-thirds of the Members of both the Senate and House of Representatives.
For more than two centuries, Congress has expressed public gratitude on behalf of the nation for distinguished contributions through the occasional commissioning of individual struck gold medals in its name. This award, which initially was bestowed on military leaders, has also been given to such diverse individuals as Sir Winston Churchill and Bob Hope, George Washington and Robert Frost, Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa, and other Nobel Peace Laureates, such as Elie Wiesel and Nelson Mandela.