WASHINGTON—The Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week approved a bipartisan resolution cosponsored by Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) to commend State Department professionals for their dedication repatriating United States citizens and legal permanent residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resolution, led by Chairman Jim Risch (R-ID) and Ranking Member Bob Menendez (D-NJ), now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
The State Department’s Repatriation Task Force, along with U.S. embassy staff around the globe and in collaboration with the United States Transportation Command, have brought home more than 85,000 Americans from 128 countries and territories to date.
“I applaud our dedicated State Department officials, both at home and around the world, whose tireless efforts brought hundreds of Utahns and their loved ones safely home,” Senator Romney said. “With this resolution we honor them and offer our sincere gratitude for their service to our country during this pandemic.”
“Most Americans don’t usually see the State Department at work, much less experience firsthand the outstanding work of our diplomats abroad,” Senator Risch said. “Over the past several months, the State Department has activated one of the largest diplomatic missions in its history in order to bring home more than 85,000 Americans from every corner of the globe. I’m glad the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was able to pass this resolution today to thank the State Department professionals for their unwavering support to getting every American home.”
“I am thrilled to lead this effort to show our gratitude for the State Department professionals who stepped up during this crisis, often at great personal risk, to help evacuate tens of thousands of American citizens trapped around the world, often facing travel restrictions imposed by foreign governments,” Senator Menendez said. “The lack of preparedness and planning by the Trump Administration for repatriations of this scale did not stop our nation’s career civil service and foreign service professionals from bravely tackling an unprecedented challenge, even if it meant sacrificing their own health to protect their fellow Americans. This resolution sends a strong message that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee stands in solidarity with, and in admiration of, our dedicated public servants across the world who continue to serve our nation without regard to party, president, or politics.”
Also cosponsoring the resolution were Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Ed Markey (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Ted Cruz (R-TX).
A copy of the resolution can be found here.