WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since he joined the Senate in January 2007, issued the following statement:
“I am humbled that Democratic Leader Reid has asked me to serve as Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at this time. It is clear to all of us that the pressing national security challenges facing our nation require having active and effective leadership in our engagement with Senator Corker and the White House. America is always stronger when we speak with one voice on foreign policy issues. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has an important role in defining that unified voice for America.
“As Ranking Member, I look forward to becoming even more engaged in our unified national effort to ensure Iran is not allowed to have nuclear weapons. I also expect to fully participate in shaping an open and fair debate over the use of force against ISIL and how we deal with the growing instability that has opened the door for extremist activity in Yemen, Tunisia, and elsewhere. I plan to continue actively pressing for greater consequences for Russia as a result of its aggression against Ukraine and blatant disregard for its international commitments, human rights and the rule of law. I am looking forward to the upcoming Summit of the Americas, an opportunity to work with our very closest neighbors. I will continue to champion U.S. engagement to tackle pressing global health, food security, economic development and environmental issues, and to promote strong U.S. support for civil society particularly in Africa. And I will keep a close eye on maritime security developments in Asia, which have been at the forefront of my agenda as Ranking Member of the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee.
“I have been especially interested in Senator Corker’s aggressive campaign to combat human trafficking, as well as reform our food-aid programs and pass a State Department authorization. I look forward to working with him on these and other mutual priorities. I plan to engage Senator Corker in additional efforts to protect human rights, transparency and good governance worldwide, including passage of the Sergei Magnitsky Global Human Rights Accountability Act.”