WASHINGTON— Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02) has been appointed by Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy to serve as Chair of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, throughout the 118th Congress.
“Since its inception more than 45 years ago, the U.S. Helsinki Commission has served as a model of how the U.S. policy-making process should work. Acting on the stability of Europe and U.S. transatlantic alliances, the commission has always united Republicans and Democrats in an unparalleled manner as it has defended some of the most important global issues from the Cold War and beyond.
“Advocating on behalf of democracies living by the rule of law versus authoritarian regimes living under the rule of gun illustrates the goal of the Helsinki Commission and the work being done to support this objective globally. Among my legislative endeavors in pursuit of this aim, last Congress I led the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022, which became law, to ensure the U.S. was providing resources the people of Ukraine need to achieve victory over the war criminal Putin.
“Promoting peace through strength has never been more important and the OSCE is incredibly united in opposition to the war criminal Putin. Additionally, the European Union has provided $55 billion dollars of humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine. All NATO countries are also supporting Ukraine.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as Chairman, and I appreciate this honor and responsibility afforded me by the Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy,” said Chairman Wilson.
Chairman Wilson previously served as the Helsinki Commission House Ranking Member in the 116th and 117th Congresses. He also serves as a Member of the U.S. Delegation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly.
Throughout his life, Chairman Wilson demonstrated a tremendous passion to serve his country and uphold the foundations of democracy around the world, from working as an election observer in Bulgaria, to serving in the United States Armed Forces, the United States Army reserves, and the South Carolina Army National Guard. At the Commission, Representative Wilson has co-introduced legislation such as the Counter-Kleptocracy Act, Transnational Repression Accountability and Prevention (TRAP) Act, Guaranteeing Oversight and Litigation on Doping (GOLD) Act, and a resolution recognizing the International Day of Political Prisoners.
As Chairman, Mr. Wilson has co-led the introduction of the Holding Accountable Russian Mercenaries (HARM) Act in the House of Representatives, bipartisan legislation that would require the Secretary of State to designate the Russian-based mercenary Wagner Group as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO). He has also co-led the introduction of the Combatting Global Corruption Act. The bipartisan, bicameral legislation formally designates combatting global corruption as a key U.S. national security concern. It would require the State Department to identify corruption in countries around the world and publicly rank their levels of corruption in a three-tiered system.
In addition to Chairing the Helsinki Commission, Mr. Wilson serves as a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where he is the Chair of the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia Subcommittee and a member of the Subcommittee on Europe. He is also the most senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, where he sits on the Subcommittee on Readiness and the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces. Additionally, Mr. Wilson chairs the Republican Study Committee’s National Security and Foreign Affairs Task Force for the 118th Congress, and serves as Co-Chair of the Bulgaria, French, UK, Korea, Ethiopia, Türkiye, Belarus, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Qatar, Republican Israel, Composites, and Counter-Kleptocracy caucuses. Mr. Wilson is a founding member and Co-Chair of the EU Caucus.