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U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs

04/20/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 04/20/2021 10:59

ICYMI: McCaul Speaks on the House Floor in Support of HFAC Legislation

Washington, DC - House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul spoke on the House Floor in support of a resolution condemning the continued violation of human rights in Hong Kong.

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-Opening Remarks as Delivered-

'First, let me thank the Speaker for coming down on the floor to give personal remarks. I know she has a busy schedule, but this really honors and shows her commitment to human rights in Hong Kong and all around the world.

Mr. Speaker, I was proud to join the Chairman in leading this measure to condemn the egregious violations of Hong Kong's freedoms. The Chinese Communist Party's relentless oppression of the people of Hong Kong is not a Republican or Democrat issue. We are united as Americans in standing with Hong Kongers.

Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement has inspired people around the world to fight for liberty over tyranny. But in June of last year the Chinese Communist Party used its sham legislature to enforce a dystopian national security law on Hong Kong.

This law criminalized basic civil liberties; it violated China's treaty commitments; it destroyed the 'one country, two systems' model of autonomy for Hong Kong; and inserted the CCP's police state into Hong Kong to crush dissent.

Since it's passed, the CCP has purged pro-democracy lawmakers from the government while arresting the CCP's political enemies.

Unfortunately, the CCP's human rights abuses in Hong Kong are far from over.

Chairman Meeks' resolution continues our bipartisan work to call out the CCP's abuses and to stand with the people of Hong Kong.

I urge my colleagues to support this measure, and I reserve the balance of my time.'

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House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican spoke on the House Floor in support of the Cyber Diplomacy Act.

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-Opening Remarks as Delivered-

'Madam Speaker, I am pleased the House is considering the Cyber Diplomacy Act that I reintroduced this Congress with Chairman Meeks and a strong roster of bipartisan cosponsors.

I also want to thank my good friend from Rhode Island, Mr. Langevin, my co-chair on the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus. Over the past decade, he and I have worked very hard to advance critical cyber legislation, like the law that set up the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at Department of Homeland Security.

With today's bill, we are taking the protection provided by CISA to the United States to the international stage.

And as the Chairman mentioned, providing rules of the road with which we do not have today.

The United States has strategic and economic interests in ensuring the internet remains open, reliable, and secure around the world.

Unfortunately, not all governments agree.

For example, Russia and China are aggressively promoting their vision of, quote, 'cyber sovereignty,' which emphasizes state control over cyberspace and tramples individual freedoms.

That's why United States and our allies must be prepared to advance our own vision for cyberspace.

The Cyber Diplomacy Act gives the State Department the necessary tools to work with our allies and partners to stop the spread of misinformation, to stop cyber-attacks, and to stop their imposition of their so-called 'cyber sovereignty.'

A new cyber ambassador will be given authorities to establish critical cyber norms and standards that, Madam Speaker, do not exist today. To help define what is good behavior and what is bad.

And let me say, when the Solar Winds attack occurred in the past there were no consequences to bad behavior, with the Russians or the Chinese. And I was very supportive and proud that President Biden struck back with sanctions against Russia for this bad behavior. And that is what this office is really all about.

Without these clear guidelines, it is not possible to mount a strong response to our adversaries' destructive behavior.

This bill is long overdue. To me, it is the last piece in terms of our cyber role in the federal government, now taking it to the international stage with our allies around the world. With that, I reserve the balance of my time.'

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House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican spoke on the House Floor in support of a resolution supporting the people of Belarus.

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-Opening Remarks as Delivered-

'Madam Speaker, I am honored to join my colleagues today to express our support for the people of Belarus and their democratic aspirations.

There is no question that Alexander Lukashenka rigged the presidential election in Belarus this past August.

He is an illegitimate leader who will never be recognized by the community of democratic nations.

The scale of the electoral fraud was unprecedented, as was the violent crackdown by Lukashenka's cronies afterward.

The reports of peaceful protestors being beaten, tortured, arbitrarily detained, and killed are appalling.

And, in a cowardly attempt to conceal their heinous crimes, the regime has repressed independent media, disrupted internet access, and expelled and detained countless journalists.

Given this despicable human rights situation in Belarus, I commend the Biden Administration's decision today to renew sanctions against nine Belarussian state owned enterprises.

Despite the terror inflicted upon them, the Belarusian people have refused to relent. They continue to demand a free and fair vote.

Their courage is truly inspiring.

This resolution reminds the corrupt Lukashenka regime the United States Congress supports the people of Belarus.

And we echo their calls for the immediate release of the more than 300 political prisoners and all those unlawfully detained by the regime. We also join them in demanding new free and fair elections be held in Belarus.

So with that, I urge all my colleagues to support this measure and reserve the balance of my time.'

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