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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

Mar 21, 2017
Today, Congressman Albio Sires introduced the Global Health Innovation Act, to encourage the development of health products that are affordable, culturally appropriate, and easy to use in low-resource health systems.
Mar 13, 2017

After returning to Washington from an official trip to Honduras and Guatemala, I participated in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, weighed in on recent executive actions and legislation, testified before a House Appropriations Subcommittee, and held meetings.

Mar 9, 2017

(Washington, D.C)  – Today, Congressman Sires issued the following statement on Russia’s continued efforts to undermine democracy in the United States, Europe, and around the world:

“Today the Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on Russia’s continued aggression towards our European allies and its efforts to undermine democracies all over the world. I spoke about how Russian interference in the U.S. and other elections should not be a partisan issue.

Mar 3, 2017

As you will see, it was a busy week in Washington.  I commented on the Trump administration’s ties to Russia, cosponsored and introduced legislation, attended a markup and a hearing, and held meetings.

Mar 3, 2017

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Reps. Albio Sires (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statements ahead of their upcoming trip to Honduras and Guatemala. Ros-Lehtinen and Sires are scheduled to meet with the Guatemalan and Honduran Heads of State, as well as other high-ranking government officials, civil society members, and U.S. embassy personnel to discuss bilateral relations and regional cooperation.

Feb 23, 2017
Last week in Washington, D.C., I held meetings, pushed for accountability, introduced legislation, and voted against a resolution attacking women’s health.
Feb 17, 2017

Over the last month there have been peaceful protest demonstrations around the nation and I have received numerous messages from constituents expressing concern and outrage over actions carried out in the first four weeks of the Trump Administration.  I share these concerns and am strongly opposed to recent decisions that put our national security at risk and are fundamentally opposed to the core values we hold as Americans.  Here is an update on the recent actions I have taken.

Feb 13, 2017
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Sires released the following statement regarding the Department of Treasury’s announcement to sanction Vice President Tareck El Aissami and his associate Samark Jose Lopez Bello under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act:
Feb 6, 2017
While in Washington last week, I attended a hearing, held meetings, spoke on the House Floor, voted on, and cosponsored, important legislation.
Jan 31, 2017
Last week in Washington, D.C., I attended briefings, introduced and voted on legislation, and was renamed to several Subcommittees in the 115th Congress.

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