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Risch: We Must Take Action on China, Global Health, Russia, South Sudan

BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today highlighted his major foreign policy achievements and priorities from the first session of the 117 th Congress.


“China must be our top foreign policy priority. My China bill from last Congress served as the base to craft comprehensive, bipartisan, and actionable China legislation earlier this year so the United States is able to compete with China in the years and decades ahead. The Strategic Competition Act tackles the Chinese Communist Party’s political influence across the globe, and importantly, in our own university system in the United States.

“The House of Representatives has failed to take action on the United States Innovation and Competition Act, of which the Strategic Competition Act is now a part. There is no time and no real excuse for their inaction, and the Senate’s strong China legislation must move ahead in the coming year. 

The Strategic Competition Act (S.1169) passed out of committee on April 21, 2021.

Global Health

“As the world continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its deadly variants, we must enact stronger prevention and preparedness measures to get ahead of the next infectious disease threat. Over the last two years, I have worked tirelessly on bipartisan legislation that would identify and close gaps in global health security that make us more vulnerable to outbreaks, improve the coordination of U.S. global health diplomacy and assistance efforts, establish effective and transparent international early warning systems, and create an accountable, international incentive fund to advance global health security and pandemic prevention and preparedness.

“I am pleased this legislation passed out of committee in July, but it’s time get this across the finish line and enacted into law. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to pass this critical legislation early next year so we can be better prepared for the next outbreak.”

The International Pandemic Preparedness and COVID-19 Response Act (S.2297) passed out of committee on July 28, 2021.

Russia and Ukraine

“As Russia continues its aggression against Ukraine and threatens to invade, the United States should be taking immediate and decisive action to deter Russia. Roughly a third of Russia’s budget comes from oil and gas, so the strongest action we could take to show Putin we’re serious is to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Unfortunately, the administration and congressional Democrats refused to stand up to Russia by even taking a vote on my Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill this year. However, I am glad the full Senate will finally vote on NS2 sanctions legislation in the new year.

“Additionally, the administration has failed to provide Ukraine the supplies and support it needs to defend itself. We cannot sit back and wait to react to Russian aggression, we must deter it. So I have introduced legislation – the GUARD Act – to provide immediate material support to Ukraine. I remain committed to stopping NS2 and combatting the threat Russia poses to Ukrainian and transatlantic security.”

Risch introduced several provisions throughout 2021 that would sanction entities involved in the construction and certification of the NS2 pipeline. Most recently, Risch introduced legislation with Senator Cruz that would sanction Nord Stream 2 AG, the Kremlin-owned company in charge of Putin’s malign pipeline project.

The Guaranteeing Ukraine’s Autonomy by Reinforcing its Defense Act (GUARD Act) was introduced on December 15, 2021.

South Sudan

“A decade after South Sudan declared its independence, the South Sudanese people continue to face violence and corruption from their leaders. This behavior is not only hurting the people, but also the future of South Sudan.

“This year, I, along with Senator Booker, introduced a resolution reiterating U.S. support for the people of South Sudan in their quest for lasting peace, stability, and democracy, and calling for a review of U.S. policy toward South Sudan. This resolution passed the full Senate in December, and will help ensure we hold South Sudan’s leaders accountable for their self-serving role in perpetuating conflict, corruption, and humanitarian catastrophe.”

S.Res.380 was passed by the full Senate on December 10, 2021