McConnell Provisions on Russia and Hong Kong Included in Appropriations Legislation
‘Russian and Chinese aggression are two of the most serious threats facing the United States today. I am grateful that my colleagues supported both of my provisions and I hope the State and Foreign Operations funding bill which now includes them will earn bipartisan support on the Senate floor.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released the following statement after the Senate Appropriations Committee passed legislation including his amendments to counter malign Russian influence and to promote democracy in Hong Kong:
“I’m proud that my amendments to increase funding for the Countering Russian Influence Fund and to defend autonomy and expand democracy promotion in Hong Kong were included in legislation the Appropriations Committee advanced today.
On Russia: “The Countering Russian Influence Fund is a key tool in the United States’ diplomatic arsenal as we contest Vladimir Putin’s active measures to expand Kremlin control throughout Europe and Asia. As a Russia hawk going all the way back to the 1980s who consistently pushed both Democrat and Republican administrations to be tougher on Putin, I am proud to have written this amendment to add millions of dollars more to this important fund. These new resources will expand the assistance the United States can offer civil society organizations and other entities in Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia which contest Russia’s creeping influence on the front lines.”
On Hong Kong: “I authored the Hong Kong Policy Act in 1992 and have stayed focused on protecting the region’s autonomy and unique liberties in the decades since. The events of recent months have shown us just how eager Beijing is to erode the freedoms that have helped Hong Kong thrive and which are the basis for our nation’s special relationship with Hong Kong. My amendment will expand and update the reporting requirements in that 1992 law to ensure the U.S. maintains a watchful eye on the Chinese Communist Government’s aggressive encroachment on Hong Kong, its authoritarian surveillance throughout China, and its malign political influence activities abroad. And the legislation also dedicates $1.5 million in new funding specifically for democracy promotion in Hong Kong, including legal support for democracy activists.”
“Russian and Chinese aggression are two of the most serious threats facing the United States today. I am grateful that my colleagues supported both of my provisions and I hope the State and Foreign Operations funding bill which now includes them will earn bipartisan support on the Senate floor.”
Related Issues: Appropriations, Russia, China