Foreign Policy

McCain: NATO allies must spend 2 percent of GDP on defense

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said NATO members needed to spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense in order to stop Russia from invading neighboring countries.

“Considering what President Putin is doing right now in Ukraine, it is more important than ever for every NATO ally to spend at least 2 percent of its GDP on defense,” McCain said.


Ayotte: ‘We must act now’ on more Russian sanctions

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said she is drafting legislation that would place U.S. sanctions on Russia’s banks and energy sector.

“The administration should not delay any longer in imposing immediate and severe sanctions on Russia's banking and financial sector,” Ayotte said Tuesday. “We must act now — before it's too late.”


Casey demands more aid for Syrian refugees

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) told Senate appropriators to fully fund President Obama’s budget request for air to Syrian refugees in Jordan.

“Jordan is facing a massive influx of refugees stemming from the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria,” Casey said. “I believe it is in the United States’ national security interest to help Jordan as they bear a significant burden in working to accommodate vulnerable refugees and offer some stability in the region.”


Corker to Obama: ‘Take action now’ on more sanctions

Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) called on President Obama to impose more sanctions on Russian companies to deter Russian military intervention in Ukraine.

Corker sent Obama a letter over the weekend, ahead of a European Union meeting on Russian sanctions Monday.


Coats’ bill stops US recognition of Russian claims on Crimea

Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) introduced a bill Wednesday that would ensure the United States doesn’t recognize Russia’s sovereignty over Crimea and its resources.

“The American response must be much greater than a verbal slap if we want Putin to understand his actions in Ukraine are unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” Coats said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “Congress must refuse to recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea.”


Senate clears treaties to combat ‘pirate fishing’

The Senate approved four treaties Thursday aimed at stopping “pirate fishing.”

Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) called for swift passage of the treaties and got unanimous consent to do so.


Cruz bill would stop Iranian ‘terrorist’ from entering US

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said Tuesday that Iran has nominated an “acknowledged terrorist,” who held the U.S. embassy hostage, to be its next United Nations ambassador.

“It is deliberately insulting and contemptuous,” Cruz said after introducing a bill that would prevent the ambassador from entering the United States.