Ranking Member's Press

June 10, 2020

Chairman Risch Statement on State Department's 2019 International Religious Freedom Report

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement in response to the State Department's annual International Religious Freedom Report: "The State Department's release of the 2019 Report on International Religious Freedom reminds us that as Americans, we are fortunate to live in a country where we can worship freely. Unfortunately, this report shows us that there is no shortage of countries that continue to d… Continue Reading


June 08, 2020

Risch, Menendez, Engel, McCaul Statement on Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act

WASHINGTON - This month, provisions of the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act go into effect, sanctioning those who back the Syrian regime, including Russia and Iran. Ahead of the implementation, U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with U.S. Representatives Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the follow… Continue Reading


June 05, 2020

Chairman Risch Touts Global Pandemic Solutions Bill on Senate Floor

BOISE, Idaho - U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, took to the Senate floor this week to discuss his Global Health Security and Diplomacy Act (GHSDA), legislation to better detect, deter, and contain infectious disease outbreaks overseas before they become global pandemics. "We want to talk about - what do we do when this happens in the future?" said Risch. "How can we create [a capacity] that just like a fire department, when the bell rings t… Continue Reading


June 04, 2020

Chairman Risch: World Bank Should Enforce Strict Accountability Measures on Zimbabwe Grant

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent a letter this week to World Bank President David Malpass calling for strict accountability and transparency measures for the announced $7 million grant to support the COVID-19 response in Zimbabwe. "I urge the World Bank to impose very strict benchmarks and transparency and accountability measures on the $7 million grant and any future programs for Zimbabwe to ensure that procurement processe… Continue Reading


June 04, 2020

Risch, Menendez Lead SFRC Members in Recognizing Tiananmen Square Anniversary

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today led a bipartisan group of Senate Foreign Relations Committee members in recognizing the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Senators Risch and Menendez were joined by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), J… Continue Reading


June 03, 2020

Chairman Risch Statement on Anniversary of Khartoum Massacre

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement on the one-year anniversary of the 'Khartoum massacre' in Sudan, when hundreds of Sudanese were injured, went missing, or lost their lives: "The 'Khartoum massacre' marked a low point in Sudan's historic transition and in the military council's leadership of the country following the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. Sudan's current civilian-l… Continue Reading


May 28, 2020

Risch Leads Bipartisan Call for Administration to Hold Members of Nicaragua’s Judiciary Accountable for Human Rights Violations

BOISE, Idaho - U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and James Lankford (R-Okla.), today sent a letter to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin encouraging the administration to hold members of the Ortega regime in Nicaragua accountable for human rights violations. "We write in support of additional actions… Continue Reading


May 28, 2020

Risch, Menendez, Gardner, Markey, Rubio, Cardin, Merkley Call on UNSC Leadership To Hold an Immediate Meeting on Hong Kong

BOISE, Idaho - U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), today sent a letter to the United Nations permanent representatives for Estonia and France, the current and incoming president of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), in support of the United States Mission to the United Nations' (U… Continue Reading


May 28, 2020

Risch, Murphy, Cardin Introduce Comprehensive Global Health Bill to Prevent Future Pandemics

BOISE, Idaho - U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), last week introduced the Global Health Security and Diplomacy Act (GHSDA) to better detect, deter, and contain infectious disease outbreaks overseas before they become global pandemics. "The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, once again, that infectious diseases respect no borders - an outbreak anywhere in the world can quickly become a threat ev… Continue Reading


May 27, 2020

Risch, Rubio, Menendez, Gardner, Markey, McGovern, Smith Applaud House Passage of Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act

BOISE, Idaho - U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), along with Representatives Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Chris Smith (R-N.J.), today applauded House passage of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 (S.3744). This bipartisan bill is an important step in countering the totalitarian Chinese go… Continue Reading


May 27, 2020

Chairman Risch on State Department’s Certification Regarding Hong Kong

BOISE, Idaho - U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's certification to Congress that Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment under United States laws in the same manner as U.S. laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1997: "It is not surprising that Secretary Pompeo has determined that Hong Kong no longer enjoys the high degree of autonomy that its people were… Continue Reading


May 25, 2020

Chairman Risch Statement on Africa Day

BOISE, Idaho - U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement in celebration of Africa Day: "Today, I join our friends across the continent of Africa in celebrating Africa Day. As we face unprecedented global circumstances, the United States reaffirms the importance of our steadfast relationships with our African partners. I look forward to continuing to work together to advance our shared goals of freedom, developmen… Continue Reading


May 22, 2020

Risch, Rubio Welcome Recent Nicaragua Sanctions Against Senior Officials of the Ortega Regime

BOISE, Idaho - U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), today released the following statement after the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, pursuant to Executive Order 13851, designated two senior members of the Nicaraguan regime: "We welcome the designation of Julio César Avilés Castillo, the commander-in-chief of the Nicaraguan Army, and Iván Adolfo Acosta Montalv&aacu… Continue Reading


May 21, 2020

SFRC Approves Risch, Menendez Resolution Lauding State Department Professionals for Their Efforts to Bring Home Americans Stranded Abroad During Pandemic

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today led the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in approving a bipartisan resolution commending State Department professionals for their dedication repatriating United States citizens and legal permanent residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resolution now moves to the full Senate for consideration. The State Department's Repatriation Task Force… Continue Reading


May 21, 2020

Risch, Rubio, Gardner: CCP Efforts to Erode Hong Kong’s Autonomy Are of Grave Concern to the U.S.

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), today released the following statement regarding reports that the National People's Congress will introduce legislation this week to implement Article 23 of the Hong Kong Basic Law, and other concerns about recent steps by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to undermine Hong Kong's autonomy: "Reports that the CCP will introduce legislation implemen… Continue Reading


May 21, 2020

Chairman Risch Statement on Administration’s Decision to Withdraw from Open Skies Treaty

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement in response to the administration's decision to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty: "I support the president's decision to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty. The Russian Federation's documented and continuing lack of compliance with this treaty follows Russia's material breach of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, its violations of the Chemical … Continue Reading


May 21, 2020

Chairman Risch Applauds Committee Passage of USAGM Nominee, Additional Legislation, Resolutions

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today held a committee business meeting during which members approved four bills, 11 resolutions, and one nominee. "I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for coming together to pass a number of significant pieces of legislation and one nomination this morning," said Risch. "I am glad the committee was able to finally approve Mr. Pack's nomination to be CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global … Continue Reading


May 19, 2020

Chairman Risch Calls for a Comprehensive, Bipartisan Approach to COVID-19, Future Viruses

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today spoke on the Senate floor about the need for a comprehensive, bipartisan approach to developing protocols for viruses such as COVID-19. The chairman's remarks were in response to Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who made an effort to call up a partisan resolution regarding vaccine research. Risch and Durbin came to an amicable agreement on the importance of pursuing a bipartisan solution in the … Continue Reading


May 15, 2020

Risch, Shaheen Comment on Progress of Georgia’s March 8 Agreement

BOISE, Idaho - U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), today released the following statement after Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili announced the pardon and release of two opposition leaders: "We welcome today's pardon and release from prison of Mr. Okruashvili and Mr. Ugulava. This is an important step in the implementation of the March 8 agreement that will modify Georgia's electoral system and bring an end to … Continue Reading


May 15, 2020

Risch, Menendez Lead Bipartisan, Bicameral Group of Members in Letter to Administration in Support of MFO in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula

BOISE, Idaho - U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today led a bipartisan, bicameral letter to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in support of maintaining strong U.S. support to the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Risch and Menendez were joined by Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), chairman and ranking member o… Continue Reading

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