SEATTLE, Washington — The COVID-19 International Response and Recovery Act, also known as CIRRA, aims to provide $9 billion worth of funding towards the fight against COVID-19 on an international scale. This bill would authorize U.S. humanitarian assistance throughout the developing world and would make a massive difference in the lives of people in impoverished countries battling with COVID-19. A number of senators supporting CIRRA legislation are making true differences in the lives of the world’s poor.
Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Senator Bob Menendez, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, can be credited with introducing the COVID-19 International Response and Recovery Act into congress. Since being elected in 1992, Sen. Menendez has gained a reputation for being globally-minded. In 2014, Sen. Menendez co-sponsored and championed the International Violence Against Women Act. Once chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Menendez sought to “support the most vulnerable in our society” through an emphasis on democracy both at home and abroad.
Further contributing to his global-mindedness, Sen. Menendez believes that COVID-19 presents us with a complex, global issue, not simply a national issue. As such, he is one of the senators supporting CIRRA legislation because he believes that the U.S. has the potential to play a large role in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sen. Menendez believes that as one of the wealthiest countries on earth, it has become a “moral imperative” for the U.S. to help the rest of the world during crises like those presented by COVID-19. Sen. Menendez supports CIRRA because the act puts the U.S. in a prime position to lead relief efforts and provide aid to struggling countries.
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)
A senior member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and former Chairman of the International Development and Foreign Assistance Subcommittee, Sen. Cardin of Maryland is another senator supporting CIRRA legislation.
A longtime supporter of human rights, Sen. Cardin recognizes the importance of establishing a global response to COVID-19. Since taking office in 2006, Sen. Cardin has taken U.S. foreign policy issues to heart and has worked to instill a respect for human rights into every foreign policy decision the U.S. Senate makes. In many prominent foreign policy bills, like the Iran Nuclear Deal, Sen. Cardin has sought to combine measures of equity with strong support for National Security.
Sen. Cardin acknowledges that the passing of CIRRA could greatly benefit U.S. National security and emphasizes that only with a thorough international response to the virus will it be possible for the world to overcome it. Sen. Cardin also recognizes that support of this bill must be bipartisan, for the issues at hand threaten all nations, parties and individuals.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, the only woman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has also voiced her support for CIRRA. A trailblazer on the path of diplomacy, Sen. Shaheen has a history of standing up against governments and fighting for the underdog. In 2017, she stood up against Vladimir Putin and Kremlin aggression. Because of her belief in the underdog, it makes perfect sense that Sen. Shaheen supports CIRRA, as it provides aid to impoverished countries fighting against COVID-19.
As a strong believer that women’s rights form a crucial part of how the U.S. must approach foreign policy and a staunch supporter of women’s rights in developing countries like Afghanistan, Sen. Shaheen understands the value of bringing different groups together to work towards a better world.
With that in mind, Sen. Shaheen supports CIRRA because it initiates a “U.S. led global response to COVID-19”, meaning that it involves all nations in the fight against the virus with the U.S. spearheading relief efforts.
These three senators supporting CIRRA legislation are true leaders in government and are making great progress towards shaping the U.S. into a global leader in foreign aid. According to the senators, supporting the COVID-19 International Response and Recovery Act works to the benefit of everyone at home and abroad. Senators Menendez, Cardin and Shaheen all recognize that control over the global response to COVID-19 has significant implications not only for foreign countries but also for the very people and states that voted them into office.
– Nolan McMahon