About the Ranking Member
Jim Risch, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 117th Congress, brings a pragmatic, results-focused approach to governance. As the lead Republican on the committee, Risch is focused on protecting the security and interests of the American people, in addition to continuing to advance U.S. prosperity and leadership in the world. He tackles many issues that hit home across Idaho, like the advancement of Idaho businesses’ interests in international trade and investment, the promotion of Idaho exports, the defense of Idaho interests in the Columbia River Treaty talks, and the support of human rights.
Risch sees China as his top priority on the committee, and during his first term as chairman during the 116th Congress, he introduced and advanced several legislative packages, including the first comprehensive legislative strategy to compete with China across a number of areas. He also delivered several speeches at prominent conferences and think tank events, and published an influential report on how the United States and its transatlantic allies should tackle shared challenges posed by the Chinese government in the coming years and decades.
During the 116th Congress, Risch also made significant progress in defending NATO by penalizing Turkey for its purchase of the S-400 missile defense system as it pursues a closer relationship with Russia; protecting the integrity of U.S. allies’ security with the enactment of further sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline; and holding accountable human rights abusers in China, Syria, Venezuela, and Cameroon, to name a few, through sanctions and other legislation.
Risch also represents Idaho’s interests on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Select Committee on Ethics.
Senator Risch earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry from the University of Idaho, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Idaho, College of Law. He served on Law Review and the College of Law Advisory Committee at the University of Idaho and has taught criminal law at Boise State University. He is a small business owner, a rancher, and a farmer, and was a senior partner in the Risch Goss Insinger Gustavel Law firm at the time of his election to the U.S. Senate.
Senator Risch and his wife Vicki have been married for more than 50 years. Their commitment to Idaho and their work together earned them the distinction of being selected as Idaho's Healthy Marriage Ambassadors in 2007. They have three married sons and nine grandchildren. They live on a ranch outside of Boise.