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Foreign Affairs

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.

Human Rights

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.

Global Health

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

Oct 16, 2020

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Congressman Francis Rooney (R-FL), the Chairman and Ranking Member respectively of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade, released the following statement urging Bolivian authorities to ensure conditions for fully democratic and transparent general elections on October 18th:

Oct 13, 2020

Last week, I signed onto legislation to make it easier for men to get screened for prostate cancer, introduced a resolution to protect supply chains in the Western Hemisphere and Sub-Saharan Africa, and signed onto a resolution to designate National Wildlife Refuge Week.

Oct 8, 2020

(Washington, D.C.) – Hoy, el congresista Albio Sires (D-NJ), presidente del Subcomité de Asuntos Exteriores de la Cámara sobre el Hemisferio Occidental, Seguridad Civil y Comercio, junto con 14 de sus colegas enviaron una carta al CEO de la Agencia de los Estados Unidos para los Medios Globales, Michael Pack. La carta destacó el impacto negativo al no renovar las visas J-1 para periodistas extranjeros en un programa especial de Voz de América centrado en la crisis en Venezuela, y lo instó a que cesara sus ataques contra periodistas independientes:

Oct 8, 2020

(Washington, DC) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade, along with 14 of his colleagues sent a letter to U.S. Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack. The letter highlighted the impact of his refusal to renew J-1 visas for foreign national journalists on a special Voice of America program focused on the crisis in Venezuela, and urged him to cease his attacks on independent journalists:

Oct 6, 2020

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Congressman Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) and Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa introduced H.Res. 1178, a resolution opposing any inclusion of apparel, textile, and footwear products in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP):

Oct 6, 2020

(Washington, D.C.) – Hoy, el congresista Albio Sires (D-NJ), presidente del Subcomité de Asuntos Exteriores de la Cámara sobre el Hemisferio Occidental, Seguridad Civil y Comercio, el Congresista Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), el Congresista Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) y la Congresista Karen Bass (D-CA), presidenta del Subcomité de Asuntos Exteriores de la Cámara para África presentaron a H.Res. 1178, una resolución que se opone a cualquier inclusión de prendas de vestir, textiles y calzado en el Sistema de Preferencias Generalizadas (SGP):

Oct 5, 2020

This week, the House was back in Washington, D.C., to vote on critical stimulus legislation to aid the economy and the hard-working American people during this continuing public health emergency. I also attended Committee reviews of legislation for the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Sep 25, 2020

This week, the House was in session in Washington, D.C. to extend funding of the federal government. The House also voted on legislation to protect benefits for veterans, condemn the forced labor of Uyghurs in China, and reinvigorate our economy with more clean jobs and innovation. I attended hearings focused on Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program, and the U.S. Agency for Global Media.

Sep 21, 2020

Last week, the country mourned the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away Friday evening. Her groundbreaking leadership on the court, coupled with her fierce dedication to advancing women’s rights and striving for equality for all will leave a positive mark on this country for generations to come. The House was also back in session and I was in Washington, D.C. to vote on important legislation to reauthorize and improve small business programs.

Sep 16, 2020

(Washington, D.C.) – Yesterday, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade, delivered the following opening remarks at the subcommittee hearing he convened on The Health, Economic, and Political Challenges Facing Latin America and the Caribbean:

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