From the Summary: "In recent years, many members of Congress have become interested in linking U.S. aid to the human rights situation in Vietnam. One initiative in the 108th Congress, H.R. 1587, proposed capping existing non-humanitarian U.S. assistance programs to the Vietnamese government at FY2004 levels if the President did not certify that Vietnam is making 'substantial progress' in human rights, including religious freedom. In the near term, the substantive impact of H.R. 1587 on U.S. aid would likely have been negligible because at present, no U.S. non-humanitarian assistance is given directly to the government of Vietnam. Thus, if it had been enacted, the bill's principal impact would likely have been symbolic. Proponents of the measure argued that it would pressure the Vietnamese government to improve the country's human rights situation. Critics argued that the bill could chill the warming of bilateral political and security ties that has been taking place slowly over the past several months. On July 19, 2004, the House passed H.R. 1587. Attempts to include stripped-down versions of the measure in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005 (H.R. 4818) did not succeed."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32636