U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today was joined by co-chairs Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) to announce the formation of the Senate Caucus on Poland during a meeting at the United States Capitol with Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski and Polish Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf. Members of the bipartisan Senate Caucus on Poland will work together to promote and strengthen the historic friendship between the United States and Poland.
"Today I'm proud to be joined by my colleagues to announce the formation of the bipartisan Senate Caucus on Poland to promote and strengthen the endearing and enduring relationship between the United States and Poland," Senator Mikulski said. "The Polish people resisted the yoke of communist oppression for decades after World War II, and their heroic and peaceful resistance hastened the end of the Soviet Union and the emergence of one Europe, whole and free. Today, the United States and Poland are good friends and steadfast and true allies, from our economic and military alliance to our shared values. My Polish heritage has given me an identity and a set of beliefs that make me the Senator I am with a belief in freedom, a belief in people, and a belief that we must always speak truth to power. I will continue to fight in the U.S. Senate to strengthen the strong bond between America and Poland, bound together by shared values and working for a future of strong economic and security cooperation."
"More than 20 years ago, Polish leadership helped bring down the Iron Curtain," said Senator Risch. "Since then Poland has remained a steadfast defender of democracy and a leader in Europe. There is no better friend, partner, and ally in Europe than Poland. I am proud to be part of the Polish Caucus as this caucus is just one way to reaffirm the solidarity that exists between our countries."
"I'm thrilled to announce the launch of the U.S. Senate Poland Caucus today," said Senator Murphy. "When people think 'Murphy' they think Irish, but I actually have more Polish blood than Irish blood. That part of my heritage has really piqued my interest over the years in the relationship between Poland and the United States, as has the strong and vibrant Polish American community in Connecticut. Hard-working Polish Americans have made incredible contributions to our state and country as small business owners, active community members, and more. I'm grateful Foreign Minister Sikorski could be here today for this event, and I look forward to working with him on visa waiver reform and other issues important to Polish-Americans in the future."
The Senators along with the Polish Foreign Minister and Polish Ambassador discussed working together for an endearing and enduring relationship between the United States and Poland. They also discussed Senator Mikulski's bipartisan Visa Waiver Program Enhanced Security and Reform Act introduced earlier this year that would add Poland to the United States' Visa Waiver Program.