WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since January 2007 when he first joined the Senate, and Co-Chair of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), released the following statement:
“Democracy and freedom are being tested around the world. America’s national security, which depends on effective diplomacy and international development, as well as a strong defense, is facing challenges that require focused and responsible leadership in Congress to work with the White House on behalf of the American people. For these reasons, it is with great humility and appreciation to Majority Leader Schumer and my colleagues that I accept this role as Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at this time.
“I have long said that ‘America is stronger when we speak with one voice on foreign policy issues.’ Defining that voice requires active, bipartisan engagement by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and I look forward to working with Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and all our members as the committee tackles the most important challenges facing our nation and the world. I intend to continue my longstanding work to ensure that human rights, anti-corruption and good governance are woven into America’s foreign policy. We have much work ahead of us.”
In addition to his leadership on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and U.S. Helsinki Commission, Senator Cardin has served as the Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Intolerance for the 57-nation Organization Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly since 2015. He also is a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. He previously served as Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from April 2015 - February 2018.