Jim Risch, ranking member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 118th Congress, has always brought a pragmatic, results-focused approach to governance.
As the top 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. In doing so, he tackles many issues that are critical to his home state of 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.
Ranking Member Risch’s top priority on the committee continues to be strategic competition with China, and during his term as chairman he introduced and advanced several legislative packages, including the first comprehensive legislative strategy to compete with China. In the 117th Congress, Risch worked to include many of these priorities into the Strategic Competition Act, which was approved by the full committee, as were his efforts to bolster Taiwan in the face of threats from China. He has delivered many speeches on China 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.
Senator Risch has also made significant progress in defending and strengthening NATO, the greatest political-military alliance in history. He worked to ensure that Finland and Sweden would receive Senate approval to join NATO and has done all that he can to help Ukraine fight and win the unjust war waged by Vladimir Putin.
In his position on the committee, Ranking Member Risch maintains a strong commitment to defending human rights, and has been a leader on defending freedom of religion worldwide. He has published a report regarding the grave human rights situation on the U.S. southern border, and also a report covering the deadly and chaotic U.S. exit from Afghanistan.
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. Risch also served as the 31st governor of the state of Idaho.
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.