December 11, 2019

Risch Praises Committee Passage of Turkey Sanctions Bill, Additional Legislation, Nominees

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today convened a business meeting during which members approved nine bills, 10 Senate resolutions, one joint resolution, one concurrent resolution, and two nominees.

“I appreciate my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for coming together for a robust and productive business meeting this morning,” said Risch. “We passed a number of significant pieces of legislation through our committee, all of them on a bipartisan basis. I am especially grateful that our committee members came together today to pass bipartisan, comprehensive Turkey legislation introduced by myself and Senator Menendez.

“This legislation will put in place a number of incentives that we hope will result in President Erdogan making the choice to walk away from the S-400. As long as the S-400s are in Turkey under Turkish control, there will be no F-35s delivered to Turkey. This is Erdogan’s choice, and he is well aware of the consequences. Additionally, Erdogan’s incursion into northeast Syria is destabilizing, and this bill will help curb any future actions that endanger our friends and partners, the Syrian Kurds, and any actions which jeopardize the U.S. strategy to defeat ISIS in Syria. I am hopeful this critical legislation will be voted on by the full Senate soon.”

In addition to the bipartisan, comprehensive Turkey legislation, Risch also highlighted several other priorities approved in today’s business meeting.

“I am also glad to see Stephen Biegun approved by the committee today to serve as deputy secretary at the Department of State,” he continued. “Mr. Biegun’s nomination comes at a pressing time for a range of issues -- for Middle East diplomacy as we pursue maximum pressure against Iran, negotiate for peace in Afghanistan, and continue to apply pressure to the Islamic State. I am confident that Mr. Biegun is more than prepared for this vital role, and I hope the Senate will vote to confirm him soon, as Deputy Secretary Sullivan is expected to be confirmed by the Senate as ambassador to Russia as early as today.

“Finally, I thank my colleagues for approving my resolution recognizing the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The crumbling of the Iron Curtain was a significant victory for democracy across the globe, and this resolution reaffirms our unwavering commitment to the NATO alliance and to the protection of human rights everywhere.”

The full list of legislation and nominees approved during today’s business meeting is below.

LEGISLATION

S.2641, Promoting American National Security and Preventing the Resurgence of ISIS Act of 2019

S.2547, Indo-Pacific Cooperation Act of 2019

H.R.2744, USAID Branding Modernization Act

S.2977, Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Extension Act of 2019

S.1310, Organization of American States Legislative Engagement Act of 2019

H.R.133, United States-Mexico Economic Partnership Act

S.1830, Energy Security Cooperation with Allied Partners in Europe Act of 2019

S.704, European Energy Security and Diversification Act of 2019

S.1189, Stopping Malign Activities from Russian Terrorism Act

S.J.Res.4, A joint resolution requiring the advice and consent of the Senate or an Act of Congress to suspend, terminate, or withdraw the United States from the North Atlantic Treaty and authorizing related litigation, and for other purposes

S.Res.142, A resolution condemning the Government of the Philippines for its continued detention of Senator Leila De Lima, calling for her immediate release, and for other purposes

S.Res.152, A resolution expressing the importance of the United States alliance with the Republic of Korea and the contributions of Korean Americans in the United States

S.Res.260, A resolution recognizing the importance of sustained United States leadership to accelerating global progress against maternal and child malnutrition and supporting the commitment of the United States Agency for International Development to global nutrition through the Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy

S.Res.297, A resolution commending the Inter-American Foundation (IAF) on the occasion of its 50th anniversary for its significant accomplishments and contributions to the economic and social development of the Americas

S.Res.343, A resolution congratulating the people of the Czech Republic and the people of the Slovak Republic on the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, the 26th anniversary of the formation of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, and the 101st anniversary of the declaration of independence of Czechoslovakia

S.Res.371, A resolution reaffirming the support of the United States for the people of the Republic of South Sudan and calling on all parties to uphold their commitments to peace and dialogue as outlined in the 2018 revitalized peace agreement

S.Res.375, A resolution recognizing the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising

S.Res.385, A resolution celebrating the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the reunification of both Germany and Europe, and the spread of democracy around the world

S.Res.395, A resolution recognizing the 40th anniversary of the Iran Hostage Crisis, and for other purposes

S.Res.447, A resolution expressing serious concern about widespread irregularities in Bolivia’s October 20, 2019, general elections and supporting the convening of new elections in Bolivia at the earliest possible date

S.Con.Res.23, A concurrent resolution honoring the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge fought during World War II, recognizing the valiant efforts of the Allied Forces in December 1944, and remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice, all of which contributed to the Allied victory in the European Theater

NOMINEES

Sung Y. Kim, of California, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Minister, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Indonesia

Stephen E. Biegun, of Michigan, to be Deputy Secretary of State

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