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Risch: Biden’s First Year in Office Marked by Repeated Foreign Policy Failures

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement in response to President Biden’s State of the Union address:

“While President Biden attempted to make the case tonight that ‘America is back’ and our diplomacy is stronger than ever, we’ve witnessed a vastly different reality over the last year. From the hazardous withdrawal in Afghanistan, to the failure to push back on Chinese malign influence, to the current war in Ukraine, this administration has failed time and time again to plan and coordinate comprehensive responses to our nation’s greatest foreign policy challenges.”

On the failure to deter Putin:

“This administration’s failure to draw hard lines throughout 2021 fed Putin’s perception of Western weakness, and the world is now paying the price. The sanctions and weapons transfers thus far are a good first step, but we must do more. My NYET Act spells out exactly what should happen to stop Putin, including the immediate imposition of secondary sanctions.”

On the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan:

“Americans continue to share outrage over how the United States withdrew last August. Last month, I released a report describing how the Biden Administration failed to properly plan a coordinated evacuation and made recommendations the Biden Administration should act on in order to mitigate strategic implications and ensure we do not repeat mistakes.”

On the lack of action to push back on China:

“China is the United States’ top strategic foreign policy challenge, yet, the administration has still not provided a national security strategy or national defense strategy that lays out what we’re doing to confront this challenge. To better compete with China, we need a comprehensive response. I made actionable policy recommendations in legislation passed by SFRC last year.”

On the failure to curb illegal migration in the Western Hemisphere:

“Since President Biden took office, we have seen a severe increase in illegal migration at the U.S.-Mexico border. This influx of migrants poses a grave security threat to the United States and a humanitarian catastrophe for the vulnerable populations involved. Despite promises to address and improve this crisis, the administration has done anything but.”

On efforts to rejoin the flawed Iran Deal:

“The JCPOA was fatally flawed in 2015 and is now even more fatally flawed in 2022. Despite promises of ‘longer and stronger,’ it’s clear the administration does not have leverage to address Iran’s regional terrorism and ballistic missile activity. No deal is better than a bad deal.”

On the lack of progress on global health:

“As the world continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its deadly variants, this administration has yet to take any significant action to prepare for the next infectious disease threat. Last year, the committee passed my bipartisan legislation that would improve pandemic prevention and preparedness. This legislation should be enacted without further delay.”

On the Nuclear Posture Review:

“President Biden’s early national security guidance emphasized his desire to reduce the role of nuclear weapons without any assessment of threats to the United States and our allies. Putin just issued the most explicit threats of nuclear use in decades, while China has tested more missiles than any other nation. The president must accelerate programs to modernize U.S. nuclear deterrence.”

On the increasing number of coups in Africa:

“Over a year into his presidency, President Biden has only met with one African leader at the White House. As the continent faces a rising number of coups and increasing influence from China, Russia, Iran, and other regional powers, it is imperative we increase our engagement and cooperation with African partners to tackle these challenges.”