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Kaine & Rubio Applaud Committee Passage of Bill to Strengthen Security, Combat Corruption and Drug Trafficking in the Caribbean

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues, and Subcommittee Ranking Member Marco Rubio (R-FL) applauded committee passage of their Caribbean Basin Security Authorization Act. The bipartisan legislation would improve security cooperation, combat drug trafficking, strengthen the rule of law, and increase disaster resilience in the Caribbean region.

“The stability and resilience of our Caribbean partners is critical to protecting our national security and addressing shared challenges in the Western Hemisphere,” said Kaine. “I’m glad the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed my bipartisan bill to help our Caribbean partners tackle issues impacting Virginians and all Americans – like drug trafficking, migration, corruption, and transnational crime. I urge my Senate colleagues to pass this bill.”

“This important bicameral and bipartisan bill, which would enhance an interagency initiative to provide training and equipment to law enforcement agencies in democratic countries in the Caribbean, was favorably reported by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations at a crucial time for our neighbors. I urge the full Senate to swiftly pass this legislation and send it to the House,” said Rubio.

The legislation would boost support for the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), a foreign assistance program that began in 2009 and includes Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad, and Tobago. Specifically, it would:

  • Authorize $410 million between Fiscal Years 2023-2027 for the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s CBSI to promote citizen safety, security, and rule of law; prioritize efforts to combat corruption; counter China’s and Russia’s malign influence in the region; and promote strategic engagement, including consultation with civil society and the private sector;
  • Require the Secretary of State, in consultation with USAID, and the Inter-American Foundation, to promote efforts to improve disaster response and resilience;
  • Require the Secretary of State, in consultation with USAID, to submit to Congress an implementation plan for CBSI within 180 days of enactment;
  • Encourage increased law enforcement collaboration between CBSI beneficiaries and Haiti; and
  • Promote greater U.S. interagency cooperation in implementing CBSI.

Full text of the legislation is available here.