Ben Cardin

Since my election to Congress, I’ve always been interested in human rights. I really do believe that’s America’s strength. Yes, we have a strong military; yes, we have a strong economy. But what really makes America the unique nation it is, is that we speak up about human rights, and anti-corruption, and good governance, and democratic institutions. That’s what America is known for. That’s what inspires people around the world with U.S. leadership.

Congress has a limited role in regards to the nuclear agreement with Iran. We do have a review statute that was enacted into law where we review Iran’s compliance with the agreement, and we have certain requirements on the President to keep us informed. What we have seen so far is that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear part of the agreement, but certainly has violated non-nuclear issues.

I believe on foreign policy that there is little difference between the Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. We believe that the best course for containing North Korea’s nuclear program is through diplomacy, and we disagree with the language the President Donald Trump has used, and the fact that he’s made it more difficult for diplomacy to work.

We know that Russia has done things that are very much against our interests. They’ve done things that require us to take punitive action against Russia. That does not mean we can’t work with Russia where we have a common agenda. Russia is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council; we need their help in isolating North Korea and their nuclear weapons violations. So, we still need to work with Russia. But Russia’s done things that are contrary to our national security interest, and the US must respond to those types of activities.