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
This week in Washington, the House of Representatives tackled long standing priorities of the Democratic majority including DACA, disaster relief, and the environment. I met with groups ranging from the Anti-Defamation League to the National Association of Home Builders to align my work with our community’s priorities. I also introduced legislation to push back against the Administration’s misguided approach to foreign policy and attended a hearing on human rights in China.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Sires introduced a House Resolution with bipartisan support from Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) promising to continue engagement and support for the people of the Northern Triangle countries in order to address the root causes of migration to the United States.
Increasingly, violence and forced gang recruitment, poverty and food insecurity, absence of rule of law, and corruption have devastated Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, driving their people to migrate to find respite from these ills.
Last week in Washington, the House considered remedies to veteran’s services, consumer protection, and retirement savings. I met with community groups focused on youth job training, postal services, and disaster relief in Puerto Rico. I also attended a post office dedication in Belleville and executed my Budget and Foreign Affairs Committee duties.
This week in Washington, the House moved forward legislation to progress LGBTQ+ rights and protect access to health care. I met with the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic, and the U.S.-Guatemala Business Council. Additionally, I voiced concerns about the future security of our nation’s infrastructure at a hearing held by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
(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 China’s growing role in Latin America:
(Washington D.C.) – Today, U.S. Representatives Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, and Norma J. Torres (D-CA), led a group of 101 Members of Congress in a letter urging U.S. Department of State Secretary Mike Pompeo to immediately reverse the department’s decision to suspend development and humanitarian assistance for Central America’s “Northern Triangle” countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Last week in Washington, I voted to restore America’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, toured our local infrastructure with my colleagues on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and met with international stakeholders to inform our nation’s foreign policy.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, on World Press Freedom Day, Congressman Sires emphasized the importance of a free and independent press.
“Having grown up in Cuba, a country where journalists are still routinely beaten up and imprisoned for trying to report the news, I know the importance of a free and independent press. A vibrant media is the bedrock of any democracy, including ours.
(Cúcuta, Colombia) – Today, Congressman Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade, released the following statement after visiting the Venezuelan border:
This week in Washington, the House considered legislation addressing net neutrality. The House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearing and markup, and I met with Speaker Pelosi and my colleagues to discuss the evolving situation in Venezuela.