Bob Menéndez and Marco Rubio Lead on Venezuela
Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Menéndez (D-NJ) continue to team up on international issues as the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The pair on Wednesday led a bipartisan group of colleagues in introducing legislation designed to help regulate the humanitarian and sanctions responses to the crisis in Venezuela. The Venezuela Emergency Relief, Democracy Assistance and Development (VERDAD) Act is the most comprehensive effort to date to confront the crisis in Venezuela. The legislation would drastically increase humanitarian assistance, expand current tools to address kleptocracy, and formally recognize and support the Interim President of Venezuela’s efforts to restore democracy and prosperity in the country. The VERDAD Act would also accelerate planning with international financial institutions to advance the country’s post-Maduro reconstruction. “Congress is coming together in a bipartisan manner to put teeth behind our support for the Venezuelan people as they seek to restore democracy and address a humanitarian catastrophe of unprecedented proportions in our hemisphere,” said Menéndez. The lawmakers said the VERDAD Act would provide the administration with the necessary diplomatic tools to move beyond “presidential promises” and towards a substantive and peaceful strategy on Venezuela. Rubio added that “the United States Senate is sending a clear bi-partisan message by introducing the VERDAD Act ... This legislation will offer needed humanitarian assistance and support for Venezuela’s long path to democratic order.” More here.