WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement on the Senate’s final passage of the FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):
“The Democrats’ management of the NDAA this year was disgraceful and disrespectful of the institution. However, I am encouraged my State Department authorization amendment with Senator Menendez was incorporated into the final text. For the first time since 2003, the State Department will have been authorized by Congress, providing it with the necessary authorities to lead American foreign policy while also asserting the Senate’s constitutionally-required oversight role. The Department should now focus on key management and operations issues, including diplomatic security, recruitment, construction, public diplomacy, and information security.
“I am also pleased my provision requiring oversight of the administration’s nuclear posture review passed. U.S. allies have repeatedly told me they strongly object to changing to a “no first use” or “sole purpose” policy. It is imperative the administration is transparent with Congress on its consultations with allies before it announces any potential policy changes, and I look forward to being briefed soon.
“The final bill should have included my amendment to deter Russian aggression against Ukraine by stopping the Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipeline. As 100,000 Russian troops amass at Ukraine’s border, it is imperative we use every tool at our disposal to put pressure on Russia and pursue a diplomatic solution to the crisis. Stopping NS2, when roughly a third of Russia’s budget comes from oil and gas, would show Putin Congress is serious about consequences for his actions. I will keep working to stop NS2 and the threat it poses to Ukrainian and transatlantic security.”