Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, spoke at an open hearing on the nomination of Shannon Corless to serve as Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Video of Rubio's opening remarks can be found here and a full transcript of his opening remarks is below.
Mr. Chairman. And thank you, Miss Corless, for being here, for your willingness to serve in this capacity, for your years of service. You have two decades of service in the intelligence community and extensive experience in financial intelligence. This is a department in the Treasury Department that [is] a really critical member of the intelligence community. [It] has a really important mandate, I think one that's become even more important in the last few years. Obviously, within the context of those challenges, I think none is greater at this point... than that posed by the Chinese Communist Party. They have a holistic, comprehensive, long-term, and committed plan -through using both licit and illicit means - to dominate, particularly, global emerging technologies to displace the United States and, ultimately, to reshape the rules-based international order to its benefit. They used to hide that ambition - they hide it a lot less these days, and it certainly puts a tremendous amount of pressure on us. So I appreciate your long standing work on this. I would be interested to hear a little bit today about how you'll support the efforts to identify and ensure U.S. companies are...not providing data, capital, technology, [or] know-how to Chinese state-owned companies and state-controlled, so-called private companies that advance the goals of the Communist Party...through things like joint venture, venture capital, private equity, and other vehicles, which make the tracking of some of these things harder than ever before. I'd be remiss - I know it's not your doing or in your department - but if I didn't, once again today, for the second time at a hearing, express the concern I have with the administration's recent decision to remove the FARC from the [State Department's] Foreign Terrorist Organization list. I'm just deeply concerned that it's going to contribute to a quick unraveling of decades of progress in Colombia and actually goes against the wishes of our democratic partners in Colombia, a very stable ally who we've worked very closely with throughout all these years.I think the expectation of this committee in a role like the one you will play is that you will provide the support needed to better inform policy decisions such as these and others, and that it not be driven by political agendas. From all I have seen and read so far, there's no reason to expect that you won't meet that standard. We're grateful for your willingness to continue to serve, and we look forward to your testimony. Thank you.