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Sen. Cruz Questions State Dept. Nominee on Confronting Global Challenges, Holding Enemies and Rivals Accountable

September 19, 2019

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today participated in a full committee hearing to consider nominations. There, he questioned Marshall Billingslea, nominee to be Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights at the Department of State.

Sen. Cruz emphasized the unhelpful role Britain, France, Germany, and the European Union have been taking by attempting to build structures that evade United States sanctions on Iran:

"The Europeans are currently engaged in efforts to circumvent our sanction against the Ayatollahs, including through a range of initiatives. One of those initiatives is the so-called special purpose vehicle. I am deeply concerned about this vehicle, and I believe it would badly undermine our campaign of maximum pressure."

Sen. Cruz also discussed the dangers posed to European energy security by the construction of the Russian-German Nord Stream 2 pipeline (learn more about Sen. Cruz's bipartisan legislation to impose sanctions on vessels involved in Russia's Nord Stream 2 project here):

"I'm also concerned about Russia's construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would go to Germany and give Putin much greater control over Europe's energy security."

On the topic of countering Chinese persecution of Uighur minorities in China, Sen. Cruz questioned nominee Billingslea on intended efforts to combat these violations of human rights (learn more about Sen. Cruz's efforts to prevent China's use of U.S. technology in oppression of its people here):

"Many of us are deeply horrified by the Chinese persecution against the Uighur minorities. Religious liberty will be within your portfolio if you are confirmed. The Chinese have created a 1984 dystopia where they track the movement of millions of people using cutting-edge biotechnology and artificial intelligence. I've introduced legislation to prevent exports and re-exports of U.S. goods to the companies that are aiding China in this persecution."

Watch Sen. Cruz's full line of questioning here.

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