WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and Chair of the Subcommittee on State Department Management, praised bipartisan approval today by the full SFRC of S. 4653, the Department of State Authorization Act of 2022. The State authorization legislative package included the text of Senator Cardin’s bill, S. 14, the Combating Global Corruption Act, and key pieces of S. 93, the Global Magnitsky Reauthorization Act. In addition, the committee included a modified version of S. 3492 – legislation to enhance and modernize the training and professional development of America’s diplomats.
The bill approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today will require the State Department to identify corruption in countries and rank them in a public, tiered system with respect to levels of corruption in their governments, similar to the Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report. The bill also would establish minimum standards for combating corruption; evaluate foreign persons engaged in grand corruption in the lowest-tiered countries for consideration under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act; and designate an anti-corruption point of contact at U.S. diplomatic posts in the lowest-tiered countries.
“America should be setting an example for the world by calling out those countries that shirk transparency and protect corrupt actors. Corruption erodes democracy and weakens the rule of law,” said Senator Cardin regarding passage of the Combating Global Corruption Act.
“We are building on the success to date of the Global Magnitsky Act, one of the strongest tools the U.S. has to hold accountable human rights abusers and those who engage in blatant corruption around the world. The reforms approved by the SFRC today further enhance the permanent reauthorization enacted into law earlier this year. My amendment includes additional steps the president can take to address the persistent, underlying causes of the types of conduct that would prompt the imposition of Magnitsky sanctions.”
The committee also included an anti-corruption measure championed by Senator Cardin that would extend the “cooling off” period from one to three years for most Senate-confirmed diplomats –Ambassadors, Under Secretaries of State, and Assistant Secretaries of State – before they would be permitted to represent foreign governments or entities in dealings with the U.S. government. The measure also would establish a lifetime ban on former diplomats working for certain foreign governments – Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and Cuba. Former Secretaries of State or Deputy Secretaries of State would be permanently banned from representing any foreign government.
Lastly, the package approved Thursday included S. 3492, legislation to enhance and modernize the training and professional development of America’s diplomats that was originally introduced by Senator Cardin and Senator Hagerty (R-Tenn.), and has long been needed to reflect the shifting national security picture worldwide. “Diplomacy and development are core components of America’s national security. Supporting our diplomats and civilian foreign policy workforce at this critical time in history is essential,” Senator Cardin added.