I believe that basic human rights and fundamental freedoms must be upheld and respected around the world, in every nation and in every community. No child should have to suffer simply because of where he or she was born. I also believe that poverty is one of the root causes of extremism around the globe. The United States must be a leader in the international arena through investments in diplomacy, economic and social development, political stability, and democratic representation. In addition, our international policies must be part of our comprehensive national security strategy. In order to ensure security at home, we must address the root causes of extremism by fostering development and freedom abroad.
Foreign Affairs Committee
I am proud to be a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. As a committee, we must create an overarching strategy that complements our existing programs and ensures they fit with the democratic and humanitarian goals and ideals of the United States.
As Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, I strive to strengthen relations with our neighbors in the Hemisphere in order to ensure prosperity. It is an honor to serve as the lead Democrat on 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 in Western Hemisphere 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, and Emerging Threats. This Subcommittee has jurisdiction over matters affecting the relations between the United States and countries in the region.
Each year, millions of people throughout the world are left to suffer without the necessary health care, education, and basic freedoms. It is unacceptable that every year millions of lives are lost due to infectious diseases, malnutrition, and complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and it is unacceptable that thousands of people are threatened, attacked, and silenced simply for standing up for what they believe. I am a strong supporter of assistance that fosters stable governments that provide essential services and respect human rights. That is why I introduced H.R. 1660, the Global Health Innovation Act of 2017. This bill would help to address health care needs around the world and reduce the threat of pandemic diseases. H.R. 1660 passed the House of Representatives and now awaits further action in the Senate.
I believe that the United States is a global leader and should act as such. To promote global security and global prosperity, we must support our basic tenants of opportunity, human rights, and democracy to foster genuine relationships with international actors. I have been a strong advocate for the use of our foreign assistance as an integral part of our overall national security strategy and foreign policy.
More on Foreign Affairs
Congress returned to Washington this week and began working to protect our shorelines from oil and gas drilling. Since the Senate is also back from recess, I believe it is time for Senate Majority Leader to act immediately on passing commonsense gun reform legislation already passed in the House, like H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. This week, I also met with the New Jersey Veterans of Foreign Wars and convened the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee for a hearing on deforestation in the Amazon and the recent outbreak of devastating fires.
(Washington, D.C.) –Congressman Sires, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade, delivered today the following opening remarks at the subcommittee hearing on the fires in the Brazilian Amazon:
(Washington, DC) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) introduced a resolution that would disapprove Russia’s inclusion in future Group of Seven (G-7) summits until it respects the territorial integrity of its neighbors and adheres to the standards of democratic societies. The resolution comes as a response to President Trump’s announcement at this year’s G-7 summit that he intends to invite Russian President, Vladimir Putin, to next year’s summit.
“There is a reason that the Amazon Rainforest is often referred to as the lungs of our planet. The 2 million square miles of rainforest traps carbon dioxide—a contributor to global warming—and releases oxygen instead. I am deeply disturbed by the severe fires ravaging the Amazon and damaging the rainforest ecosystem. If these fires are left to consume more land, the forest may no longer be able to play this crucial role of regulating global air quality and we could lose an important resource that combats climate change.
Washington – Today, Representative Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade, was joined by Representative Frank Pallone, Jr., Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and 32 other members of Congress in sending a letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Mark Morgan expressing concern about the treatment of transgender asylum-seekers fleeing violence in Central America. Rep. Sires released the following statement:
(Washington, D.C.) - Today, Congressman Sires, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade, issued the following statement after his meeting in Buenos Aires with the Venezuelan ambassador to Argentina Elisa Trotta Gamus.
Washington – Today, Representative Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade, and Representative Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, released the following statement calling on Guatemalan presidential candidates Sandra Torres and Alejandro Giammattei to publicly support the re-establishment of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) and to support additional efforts to fight corruption in the country.
(Washington, DC) - A bipartisan delegation of six members of the United States House of Representatives, led by the Honorable Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, traveled to Argentina and Chile to reinforce the importance of strengthening bilateral relations with both countries.
Last week, the House considered urgent legislation addressing the humanitarian crisis at the southern border and our nation’s fiscal health. I spoke at a House Committee on the Budget hearing focused on climate change and met with stakeholders on international issues ranging from human trafficking to tainted alcohol.