Scott Mulhauser/Erin Shields
Baucus Applauds Finance Committee Approval of Burma Sanctions, Health, Trade Nominees
Finance Committee Favorably Reports Burma Sanctions, Sorian, Sanchez Nominations
Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) applauded the Finance Committee’s vote today to renew import restrictions contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 for one year and to favorably report the nominations of Francisco Sanchez to be the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade and Richard Sorian to be the Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Public Affairs.
“These sanctions, together with the sanctions imposed by several of our trading partners, put necessary pressure on the Burmese junta to stop its gross mistreatment of the Burmese people and abide by international human rights standards,” Baucus said. “As long as the Burmese junta continues to abuse and suppress its people, the United States needs to continue to join our trading partners in standing up for the Burmese people and supporting human rights.”
Since 1988, Burma has been ruled by an autocratic military regime known as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). The U.S. State Department reports that the SPDC maintains its power by suppressing opposition groups, severely limiting freedom of speech and other personal freedoms of the Burmese people, committing gross human rights violations, and interfering with the judiciary.
The Finance Committee voted to favorably report S.J. Resolution 29, approving the renewal of import restrictions contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003, by a vote of 22-1 today. The resolution renews the existing import ban on Burmese products into the United States for one year, which Congress has done annually since 2003. Legislative Text of S.J. Resolution 29 is available on the Finance Committee website at: http://finance.senate.gov/legislation/details/?id=06fdbd8e-5056-a032-527f-e4fa7bb1af55.
During today’s executive session, the Finance Committee also voted unanimously to favorably report the nominations of Francisco Sanchez to be the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade and Richard Sorian to be the Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Public Affairs. Both nominations will now be sent to the full Senate for consideration.
“Our country needs our best and brightest minds at work now more than ever to get our economy moving again,” Baucus said. “Increasing U.S. exports and opening new markets for American ranchers, farmers and small businesses to sell their world class goods is essential to our economic recovery, and Mr. Sanchez will be a key asset in this effort at the Department of Commerce. At the Department of Health and Human Services, Mr. Sorian will be instrumental in our work to implement the groundbreaking new health care reform law, which lowers costs, reduces our national deficit and brings unprecedented choice and protection to American consumers. I urge the Senate to approve these nominees quickly.”
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