This Week in the Office of Senator Marco Rubio
On Thursday, I spoke on the Senate floor ahead of the Senate’s passage of my Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act . The bill, which I first introduced with Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and James McGovern (D-MA) in 2020, will ensure that goods made with slave labor from Uyghurs and others in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) do not enter the U.S. market. The legislation now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Read more here and watch the video here.
On Thursday, I released a statement after President Joe Biden posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor to Sergeant First Class (SFC) Alwyn Cashe, a former resident of Oviedo, Florida. The action follows legislation that I helped lead to authorize the award. Read more here.
On Wednesday, I applauded the Senate passage of the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes critical provisions that benefit Florida. Read more here.
On Tuesday, I spoke during a Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing on the nominations for U.S. ambassadorships to Germany, India, and Pakistan. During the hearing, I pressed Dr. Amy Gutmann, President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Germany, to outline her plans to urge Germany to combat the Chinese Communist Party’s malign influence campaign. Read my remarks here and watch the video here.
On Monday, I released an op-ed reflecting on the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s decision to admit China to the WTO twenty years ago, and the need for the United States to reject China’s growing influence and turn toward a pro-American capitalism. Read the op-ed here.
On Thursday, I sent a letter to McKinsey & Company’s Global Managing Partner Bob Sternfels after learning that McKinsey disclosed “client connections” to the Chinese Government, and thus the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as part of a bankruptcy disclosure process in September 2020. On three separate occasions, McKinsey had previously denied to my staff and I that the CCP or the Chinese government had ever been a client. Read more here.
On Thursday, I joined Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) in applauding the Senate Committee on Commerce’s unanimous passage of our R estoring Resilient Reefs Act of 2021. The bill would reauthorize and modernize the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000, strengthen NOAA’s Coral Reef program, and give new and innovative tools and resources to the non-federal partners who are closest to the crisis in American coral reefs: states, territories, and local communities. Read more here.
On Tuesday, I sent a letter to President Joe Biden demanding to know why the Biden Administration downgraded Taiwan’s representation at the Summit for Democracy and censored its video transmission in order to obscure a map displaying Taiwan in a different color from China. Read more here.
On Monday, I urged U.S. Army Secretary Christine Wormuth to enforce the U.S. Department of Defense’s ban on the use of TikTok for recruitment purposes, pointing to the app’s known national security risks and deep connections to the Chinese Communist Party. Read more here.
On Tuesday, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and I led a group of bipartisan colleagues in a letter to Uzra Zeya, Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights at the U.S. Department of State, ahead of her expected appointment as Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, advocating for a U.S. policy toward Tibet that protects the rights, autonomy, and dignity of the Tibetan people. Read the letter here .
On Monday, I joined Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO), James Lankford (R-OK), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Braun (R-IN), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Tom Cotton (R-AR) in sending a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to inquire why Nigeria was removed from the State Department’s list of Countries of Particular Concern. Read the letter here .
On Monday, I joined Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in announcing the release of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report outlining the need for better information sharing and collaboration across government agencies to address Trade Based Money Laundering (TBML), the system criminal organizations use to hijack international trade markets to launder money. Read more here.
- On Wednesday, I joined Senators Jim Risch (R-ID), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Pat Toomey (R-PA), John Barrasso (R-WY), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Tom Cotton (R-AR) in introducing the Guaranteeing Ukraine’s Autonomy by Reinforcing its Defense Act (GUARD Act), legislation to provide critical support to Ukraine as it faces the threat of an invasion from Russia. Read more here.
- On Wednesday, I joined Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) in introducing a bill to strengthen the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Spina Bifida Program for children of veterans exposed to Agent Orange and toxic herbicides. Read more here.
- On Thursday, I joined Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in introducing the Domain Reform for Unlawful Drug Sellers (DRUGS) Act to provide the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to suspend websites run by criminal networks that traffic fentanyl, counterfeit medications, and other illegal drugs. Read more here.
In Case You Missed It…
“Despite the bill’s overwhelming support, it faced a long and complicated road to final passage as its co-authors, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), encountered obstacles from the White House and the private sector” (Crackdown on China’s treatment of Muslim minority headed to Biden’s desk, Politico, 12/16/21)
“Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) reached a compromise agreement on Tuesday on the final legislative text of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.” (White House says Biden will sign Uyghur forced labor bill, Axios, 12/14/21)
“‘When it comes to Chinese companies working to undermine U.S. national and economic security, there is no real difference between transferring American technology or investing American capital,’ said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)…” (Biden administration concerned about U.S. investments in Chinese tech companies with military or surveillance ties, The Washington Post, 12/16/21)
“Rubio Athwart History” (The American Conservative, 12/11/21)
“Marco Rubio Explains Why New York Is Run by a Bunch of Psychos” (Townhall, 12/14/21)
“Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican and a forceful critic of the Communist regime in Beijing, told The Washington Times on Tuesday that LinkedIn made the ‘right move’ but people should not lose sight of the perils of doing business in China.” (LinkedIn offers stripped-down service in China in face of official repression, The Washington Times, 12/14/21)
“Rubio demands answers from Biden over cut video with Taiwan map” (Taiwan News, 12/15/21)
“Marco Rubio introduces bill targeting online fentanyl sales” (Orlando Sentinel, 12/15/21)
“U.S. Senators urge USDA to reverse ‘harmful’ decision affecting grapefruit growers”(Fresh Fruit Portal, 12/16/21)
“Marco Rubio pide a Biden enmendar “error honesto” con Taiwán en cumbre democrática” (Milenio, 12/14/21)