Senator Ben Cardin will become chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, replacing Bob Menendez, who is facing bribery charges. On Wednesday, senators approved a resolution appointing Cardin to the new position. This was reported by Reuters.
Cardin, a high-ranking senator known for his advocacy work. He turns 80 next week. The new chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations has already announced that he will not stand for re-election next year, Voice of America notes.
Cardin has maintained a strong focus on human rights throughout his career. He was the author of the Magnitsky Act, named after the lawyer who exposed corruption in Russia.
Passed in 2012 and extended worldwide in 2016, the law allowed the US government to impose sanctions on individuals involved in human rights violations, according to the Voice of America publication.
Cardin criticized US President Joe Biden’s decision this month to give Egypt $235 million in military aid. “If we want to show the world that respect for human rights is a core aspect of U.S. national security interests, we need to do more to hold governments (that violate human rights) accountable,” Cardin said in a statement.