I have been an active member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs since I was elected to Congress thirteen years ago. At the beginning of the 116th Congress I was appointed Chairman of the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade Subcommittee. In this role, I have worked to build closer relationships with our regional allies to advance our shared economic and security interests and promote the values of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.
The United States must be a leader in the international arena through investments in diplomacy, economic and social development, political stability, and democratic representation. Not only are these efforts critical to a comprehensive national security strategy, they also have a strong correlation to our security, stability, and prosperity here at home.
Foreign Affairs Committee
I am proud to be a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. As a Committee, we are responsible for creating and maintaining an overarching strategy that complements our existing programs and ensures they fit with the democratic and humanitarian goals and ideals of the United States. We also exercise our oversight role in ensuring foreign aid and policies are implemented in the best interest of our country.
As Chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, it is my duty to engage with leaders in the region to ensure that the United States is a good partner to our allies, committed to prosperity and security in the region. It is an honor to serve as the head of a Subcommittee that oversees a portion of the world that is not only strategically critical for our foreign agenda, but a part of the world that is deeply personal to me and many of my constituents. The Subcommittee has jurisdiction over issues pertaining to the countries in South America, North America, and the Caribbean.
I am also a member of the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment. This Subcommittee has jurisdiction over matters affecting the relations between the United States and countries in the region.
I have introduced several bills aimed at exercising this oversight role, including:
- H.Res.546, disapproving of Russia’s inclusion in future G-7 summits until it respects the territorial integrity of its neighbors and adheres to the standards of democratic societies.
- H.Res.426, supporting the U.S.’ continued engagement with the people and governments of the Northern Triangle to improve security in the region and address the root causes of migration.
- H.Res.649, supporting the work of the Inter-American Foundation.
You can stay up to date with the Committee’s work here.
I believe that basic human rights and fundamental freedoms must be upheld and respected around the world, in every nation and in every community. I continue to advocate for the rights of minority communities, who too often suffer targeted persecution and violence. It is unacceptable that thousands of people are threatened, attacked, and silenced simply for standing up for what they believe. Below are just a few examples of human rights legislation I have cosponsored in the 116th Congress:
- H.R. 649, the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, requires expanded reporting by several U.S. agencies on the Chinese treatment of the Uyghur minority.
- H.R. 3190, the BURMA Act of 2019, as passed by the House, imposes sanctions against officials responsible for human rights abuses in Burma and authorizes aid for Burma and the surrounding region, including those ethnic minorities targeted by Burma’s military.
- H.R. 3252, the Global Respect Act, would impose sanctions against people responsible for violating the human rights of LTBTI individuals.
- H.Res.49, Supporting Coptic Christians in Egypt, urges the Egyptian government to ensure that Coptic Christians have the same rights as other Egyptians and work towards ending the culture of impunity for attacks on Christians.
Each year, millions of people throughout the world are left to suffer without access to quality health care and resources. Every year millions of lives are lost due to infectious disease, malnutrition, and complications of pregnancy and childbirth, many of which are treatable or completely preventable with the right investment. Last Congress, my bill, the Global Health Innovation Act of 2017, was signed into law. This bill provides the oversight needed to gain a clearer understanding of USAID’s global health research and development. I believe in the importance of funding initiatives aimed at expanding global health programs, which is why each year I request comprehensive funding for global health in the annual appropriations process. I have also cosponsored H.Res.517, supporting the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, and its Sixth Replenishment.
The United States should act like the global leader that it is and be a reliable partner to our allies as well as a staunch defender of human rights. To promote global security and prosperity, we must support the basic tenants of shared humanity, equal rights, and democracy to foster genuine relationships with international actors. I have been, and will continue to be, an advocate for the use of our foreign assistance as an integral part of our overall national security strategy and foreign policy. For more information on the foreign affairs legislation I have cosponsored, visit congress.gov
More on Foreign Affairs
This week, I voted to pass the Divided Family Reunification Act, the Consumer Protection and Recovery Act, the Allies Act, and the PFAS Action Act. I also cosponsored legislation to incentivize renewable energy investments, establish a strategy to manage biodiversity loss, raise awareness for black maternal mental health, and streamline access to health care for veterans exposed to burn pits. As Chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, I led a hearing on the historic protests and repression of free expression in Cuba.
(Washington, D.C.) – Hoy, el congresista Albio Sires (D-NJ), presidente del hemisferio occidental, seguridad civil, migración y política económica internacional, pronunció las siguientes palabras de apertura en la audiencia del Congreso que convocó titulada "Protestas históricas en Cuba y la represión de la libre expresión":
“Lo que hemos presenciado durante la última semana en Cuba es nada menos que histórico. Miles de cubanos han salido a las calles para pedir libertad y democracia. Han sido claros al exigir el fin de la dictadura.
(Washington, D.C.) –Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, Migration and International Economic Policy, delivered the following opening remarks at the Congressional hearing he convened entitled “Historic Protests in Cuba and the Crackdown on Free Expression”:
“What we have witnessed over the last week in Cuba is nothing short of historic. Cubans have taken to the streets by the thousands to call for freedom and democracy. They have been clear in demanding an end to the dictatorship.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, joined Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), in addition to Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-ID), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere Tim Kaine (D-VA), Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, and U.S.
This week, I spoke in solidarity with the Cuban people who are protesting the Castro/Diaz-Canel dictatorship in Cuba, and thanked President Biden for showing the United States’ clear support for democracy on the island. The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a markup and a hearing where I asked USAID Administrator Samantha Power to do all that is possible to advance critical democracy and human rights programming on the island.
(Washington, D.C.) – En respuesta a las protestas de los cubanos en docenas de ciudades el 11 de julio contra la dictadura de Castro/Díaz-Canel y antes de una conferencia de prensa que se celebrará en West New York con líderes cubanos, el Congresista Albio Sires (D-NJ), Presidente del Subcomité para el Hemisferio Occidental, Seguridad Civil, Migración, y la Política Económica Internacional emitió la siguiente declaración:
(Washington, D.C.) – In response to Cubans protesting in dozens of cities on July 11th against the Castro/Díaz-Canel dictatorship and in advance of a press conference to be held in West New York with Cuban leaders, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, Migration, and International Economic Policy issued the following statement:
In response to the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, Congressman Albio Sires, Chairman of Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, Migration, and International Economic Policy, issued the following statement:
“I am saddened and appalled by the murder of Jovenel Moïse in Haiti. I send my deepest condolences to Mr. Moïse’s entire family and I hope that his wife, Martine Moïse, recovers fully from the attack. I urge the U.S. Government to support the efforts of Haitian law enforcement to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Last week, I reintroduced H.R. 4188, the Respect for Peace Corps Volunteers Act, with Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA). I also voted to pass several important pieces of legislation to make long overdue investments in our infrastructure, establish a Select Committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the U.S.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA), Co-Chair of the Congressional Peace Corps Caucus, reintroduced the Respect for Peace Corps Volunteers Act. They are joined by Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA). Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA), Rep. James P. McGovern (D-MA), and Del. Michael F.Q. San Nicolas (D-GU) as original cosponsors.