Continues working to see top priorities included in NDAA
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, yesterday introduced amendments to the FY 2022 National Defense Authorization Act that would provide Ukraine with material support in the face of Russian aggression, counter malign Chinese influence in U.S. universities, and authorize the State Department for the first time since 2003.
Ukraine Security Partnership Act
“For the last seven years, Ukraine has stood on the frontline of Russian aggression in Europe, fighting hard against Russian occupation in Crimea and Russia-backed separatists in Eastern Ukraine. At the time my Ukraine Security Partnership Act passed out of committee in April 2021, more than 100,000 Russian troops were postured along the Ukrainian border. Today, those troops and equipment are surging again.
“This critical amendment sends a clear message that the United States will continue its strong support for the Ukrainian people and their right to sovereignty and self-defense by providing material support. The lethal and non-lethal packages included in this legislation are paired with diplomatic initiatives designed to continue the pursuit of a peaceful resolution to the conflict.”
“China actively exploits America’s university system to gain access to sensitive critical technology, conduct research that benefits the Chinese military and Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and leverage influence to shape narratives surrounding the CCP. Thankfully, we already have an institution that has the capacity to monitor the massive amounts of Chinese money going into American universities and research programs: the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
“This amendment expands CFIUS to review large foreign gifts or contracts that total $1 million or more over two years to U.S. universities that conduct research on critical U.S. technologies or provide influence over university departments, centers, and other programs. It also requires universities to report foreign gifts over $250,000 to CFIUS. This ensures U.S. national security agencies know who is giving American universities large sums of money.”
This provision passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with strong committee support in April 2021, when it was marked up in the bipartisan Strategic Competition Act. It was then included in the bipartisan United States Innovation and Competition Act, which passed the full Senate in June 2021. Text of the CFIUS amendment can be found here.
“Ensuring the State Department has the authorities necessary to lead American foreign policy through diplomacy and development is a crucial role of the United States Congress. Unfortunately, Congress has not passed an authorization bill for the State Department since 2003 – something that is sorely needed for effective oversight of the Department.
“I am proud to introduce authorizing legislation that touches on a range of management and operations issues that are key for State Department success, including diplomatic security, recruitment, construction, public diplomacy, and information security. I’m especially pleased this amendment includes a provision asserting the Senate’s critical right to provide advice and consent on appointments to key special envoy positions. We came close to passing a nearly identical bill with significant bipartisan agreement last year, and I am confident that we can get this done in the 117th Congress.”
This amendment was introduced by Senators Menendez and Risch. Text of the State Authorization amendment can be found here .