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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

Apr 14, 2021

(Washington, D.C.) –Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, delivered the following opening remarks at the Congressional hearing he convened entitled “Renewing the United States’ Commitment to Addressing the Root Causes of Migration from Central America”:

Mar 29, 2021

Last week, I participated in a House Foreign Affairs Committee markup, where we discussed a number of important bills including regaining observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization, accountability for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, and repealing the Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq. I also participated in a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing examining congressional war powers. I cosponsored bills protecting paid sick leave, ensuring injured veterans receive full pensions, and creating a program to teach financial literacy in secondary schools.

Mar 19, 2021

This week, we witnessed racism and misogyny on display as eight people were senselessly murdered in Atlanta. The rise in hate crimes and violence against Asian Americans in the last year follows a disturbing trend and is made worse by the discriminatory language used by leaders in our public spaces. The shooting in Atlanta is the latest violent act perpetrated on innocent victims, and another example that we don’t need of why this country’s gun laws do not keep us safe. We must do better to hold accountable those whose actions and inactions led to this week’s shooting.

Mar 11, 2021

(Washington, D.C.) – Hoy, el congresista Albio Sires (D-NJ), presidente del Subcomité de Asuntos Exteriores de la Cámara de Representantes sobre el hemisferio occidental, Seguridad Civil, Migración y Política Económica Internacional, dio a conocer la siguiente declaración sobre la influencia maligna de Rusia en América Latina:

Mar 11, 2021

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, Migration, and International Economic Policy, released the following statement regarding Russia’s malign influence in Latin America:

Mar 8, 2021

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, Migration, and International Economic Policy, released the following statement commending the decision by President Biden’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, to designate Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS):

Mar 5, 2021

This week, the House passed legislation to reform our elections for the people, and to enact sweeping reforms to policing. I chaired a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere hearing focused on the challenged for the Biden administration regarding Venezuela. I also signed onto legislation to increase background checks for firearms, increase screening for colorectal cancer, ensure veterans who worked with atomic radiation are fairly compensated, protect LGBTQ+ youth, and to increase standards for pregnant women being detained.

Mar 3, 2021

(Washington, D.C.) – Hoy, el congresista Albio Sires (D-NJ), presidente del Subcomité para el Hemisferio Occidental, pronunció las siguientes declaraciones iniciales en la audiencia en el Congreso que convocó titulada “A Way Forward for Venezuela: The Humanitarian, Diplomatic, and National Security Challenges Facing the Biden Administration”:

Mar 3, 2021

(Washington, D.C.) –Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, delivered the following opening remarks at the Congressional hearing he convened entitled “A Way Forward for Venezuela: The Humanitarian, Diplomatic, and National Security Challenges Facing the Biden Administration”:

Feb 16, 2021

(Washington, D.C.) – Hoy, el congresista Albio Sires (D-NJ) emitió la siguiente declaración aclarando los hechos con respecto a su conversación con la Embajadora Milena Mayorga de El Salvador:

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