Ranking Member's Press

March 16, 2017

Senators Seek Release of U.S. Citizen Sandy Phan-Gillis From Two-Year Detention in China

WASHINGTON - Ahead of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's scheduled visit to Beijing on Saturday, U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led a bipartisan letter to China's ambassador to the United States seeking the release of Sandy Phan-Gillis, an American citizen and Texas resident who has been held without trial in China since March 19, 2015. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ted … Continue Reading


March 09, 2017

Corker Convenes Hearing on Conflict in Yemen

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today convened a hearing on the war in Yemen and efforts to resolve the three-year long conflict and combat the terrorism threat from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which controls significant territory within the country. "With the arrival of the new administration and the new reality that is emerging on the ground, it is a good time to reexamine the conflict," said Corker. "We must as… Continue Reading


March 09, 2017

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Approves Nomination of David Friedman to be U.S. Ambassador to Israel

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today joined a majority of committee colleagues in voting to favorably report the nomination of David Friedman to serve as U.S. ambassador to Israel to the full Senate for consideration. "Israel is our closest friend and strongest partner in the region, and this position is a vital post," said Corker. "Mr. Friedman is an impassioned advocate for America and for strengthening the mutually benefici… Continue Reading


March 09, 2017

Corker Opening Statement at Business Meeting on Nomination of David Friedman to be U.S. Ambassador to Israel

United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Business Meeting: Nomination of David Friedman to be U.S. Ambassador to Israel March 9, 2017 U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Chairman Opening Statement This business meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will come to order. Today we will consider the nomination of David Friedman to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Israel. Israel is our closest friend and strongest partner in the region, and this position is a vital po… Continue Reading


March 07, 2017

Senate Unanimously Approves Corker Resolution on Ending Modern Slavery

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today applauded unanimous Senate passage of his resolution to raise awareness about modern slavery and human trafficking. February 23rd marked the END IT Movement's fifth annual "Shine a Light on Slavery Day." To help kick off the awareness campaign, Corker held a hearing to assess progress by the U.S. to end sexual servitude, bonded labor, and trafficking. He also later visited the Vatican where … Continue Reading


March 06, 2017

Corker Statement on Iranian Ballistic Missile Tests

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today made the following statement in response to reports of Iranian ballistic missile tests in violation of international commitments. "These provocative tests are just the latest example of Iran's dangerous actions that demand a coordinated, multi-faceted response from the United States," said Corker. "The administration has already begun to push back in the way that we should, and I look forwa… Continue Reading


March 06, 2017

Corker Statement on Immigration Executive Order

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement on the president's immigration executive order. "I am very encouraged by the interagency approach the administration has taken to develop and implement the revised executive order," said Corker. "I also am pleased that Iraq, a critical partner in the fight against ISIS, has been removed from the countries subject to visa restrictions based on the commitments… Continue Reading


March 02, 2017

Corker Opening Statement at Hearing on "Venezuela: Options for U.S. Policy"

United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Hearing: Venezuela: Options for U.S. Policy March 2, 2017 U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Chairman Opening Statement This morning, we will discuss U.S. policy toward Venezuela. We asked our witnesses to address three questions: What are our interests in Venezuela? What policy outcome should we seek in Venezuela? What policy tools will get us to that outcome? Venezuela is a beautiful country with vast resources and talented people. … Continue Reading


March 02, 2017

Corker: Situation in Venezuela “Bleak” Amid Worsening Crisis

WASHINGTON - On Thursday, March 2, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, convened a hearing on the worsening political, humanitarian, and economic crisis in Venezuela to assess U.S. interests and policy options. The committee heard testimony today from Dr. David Smilde of Tulane University, Dr. Shannon O'Neil with the Council on Foreign Relations, and Mark Feierstein of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "Venezuela is a beautiful… Continue Reading


February 28, 2017

Corker Expresses Optimism Regarding Mission to Defeat ISIS in Iraq

WASHINGTON - After returning from a trip to the Middle East last week, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today convened a hearing on the U.S. plan to defeat ISIS, focusing on Iraq after the operation to liberate Mosul. Last week, Corker visited Iraq and Lebanon to meet with U.S. and foreign officials to assess progress in the fight against ISIS and U.S. efforts to strengthen regional stability. The committee heard testimony today from Dr. Mich… Continue Reading


February 28, 2017

Corker Opening Statement at Hearing on "Iraq After Mosul"

United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Hearing: Iraq After Mosul February 28, 2017 U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Chairman Opening Statement I want to thank our witnesses for testifying today. We appreciate your willingness to come before this committee. I spent part of last week in Iraq, and I think it is quite clear that ISIS will soon lose all of its territory in Iraq. I think we are well on the way to making that happen. As we sit here, Iraqis are returning to their … Continue Reading


February 23, 2017

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Leaders Seek Accountability for War Crimes in Syria

WASHINGTON - Following a recent report accusing the Bashar al-Assad regime of atrocities in Syrian prisons, U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led a bipartisan letter from committee members to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seeking an update on U.S. plans to demand accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Syrian civil war. "In light of Amnesty International'… Continue Reading


February 16, 2017

Corker Opening Statement at Hearing on Nomination of David Friedman to be U.S. Ambassador to Israel

United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Hearing: Nomination of David Friedman to be U.S. Ambassador to Israel February 16, 2017 U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Chairman Opening Statement I want to welcome Mr. David Friedman to the committee today to discuss his nomination to be our ambassador to Israel. Over the last 70 years, the United States and Israel have enjoyed a close and meaningful relationship. This alliance has been a pillar of American and Israeli foreign p… Continue Reading


February 16, 2017

Congressional Leaders Seek Release of American Pastor Unjustly Detained in Turkey

WASHINGTON - Leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs Committees sent a letter signed by 78 members of Congress to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an seeking the unconditional release of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been unjustly detained in Turkey since October and denied regular and appropriate access to legal counsel and American consular services. The letter was led by Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the chairman and ranking membe… Continue Reading


February 15, 2017

Corker: U.S. at Historic Turning Point in Global Fight to End Modern Slavery

WASHINGTON - Ahead of the END IT Movement's fifth annual "Shine a Light on Slavery" day next week, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, convened a hearing on Wednesday to assess progress by the U.S. to end modern slavery and human trafficking internationally, including recent enactment of authorizing legislation for the End Modern Slavery Initiative (EMSI). The hearing featured testimony from actor Ashton Kutcher, co-founder of Thorn, and Elisa M… Continue Reading


February 13, 2017

Ashton Kutcher to Testify at Hearing Ahead of END IT Movement’s Annual Shine a Light on Slavery Day

WASHINGTON - In advance of the END IT Movement's fifth annual "Shine a Light on Slavery" day, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will convene a hearing on February 15 to examine progress in U.S. global efforts to end modern slavery and human trafficking, including recent enactment of authorizing legislation for the End Modern Slavery Initiative. The hearing will feature testimony from actor Ashton Kutcher, co-founder of Thorn, and Elisa Massimi… Continue Reading


February 10, 2017

Corker Statement on Trump Meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Abe

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today made the following statement about President Donald J. Trump's meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. "There is tremendous opportunity to expand a relationship that is hugely beneficial for both countries, and I commend President Trump for recognizing that by welcoming Prime Minister Abe to the White House so early in his administration," said Corker. "Abe has proven to be a stron… Continue Reading


February 09, 2017

Corker Convenes Hearing on Broad Challenges Facing U.S. Policy Toward Russia

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today convened a hearing on the broad challenges ahead for U.S. policy toward Russia, during which he cited the various threats to American interests from Russian actions in recent years, especially the invasion of Ukraine. The committee heard testimony from former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, USAF (Ret), and Julianne Smith, a senior fellow with the Center for New… Continue Reading


February 09, 2017

Corker Opening Statement at Hearing on “The United States, The Russian Federation, and the Challenges Ahead”

United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Hearing: "The United States, The Russian Federation and the Challenges Ahead" February 9, 2017 U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Chairman Since November of last year, this committee has tried to get witnesses from the prior administration to testify about a wide range of issues currently challenging the United States-Russian relationship. While the Obama administration did make officials available for classified briefings, they woul… Continue Reading


February 07, 2017

Corker Opening Statement at Hearing on "The Plan to Defeat ISIS: Key Decisions and Considerations"

United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Hearing: "The Plan to Defeat ISIS: Key Decisions and Considerations" February 7, 2017 U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Chairman Opening Statement I'd like to thank our witnesses for testifying today, and for your service to our country. I hope your experiences can be informative as we take stock of our efforts against ISIS. Last month, President Trump asked for a new plan to defeat ISIS. The preliminary draft should be completed b… Continue Reading

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