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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

May 13, 2021

(Washington, D.C.) –Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, Migration and International Economic Policy, delivered the following opening remarks at the Congressional hearing he convened entitled “A Race Against Time: Deploying Vaccines and Addressing the Disproportionate Impacts of COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean”:

May 12, 2021

(Washington, D.C.) – In response to media reports indicating that U.S. states are requesting only a small portion of the vaccines that have been allocated to them by the federal government and in advance of a Congressional hearing he will chair on May 13th on COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, Migration, and International Economic Policy issued the following statement:

May 5, 2021

(Washington, D.C.) - In response to ongoing protests in Colombia and clashes with police that have led to at least 24 deaths and hundreds of civilian and police injuries, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, Migration, and International Economic Policy issued the following statement:

May 4, 2021

This week, I joined my colleagues in submitting funding requests for the next fiscal year during what is known as the appropriations process. These requests are sent to the House Committee on Appropriations as they craft this year’s funding bill which will include programs that impact millions of Americans. This newsletter will focus entirely on a few of the funding requests I prioritized this year. I led letters requesting funding for Central America and the Merida Initiative in Mexico, in addition to a letter with Rep.

Apr 16, 2021

(Washington, D.C.) - Hoy, el representante Albio Sires (D-NJ), presidente del Subcomité sobre el Hemisferio Occidental, Seguridad Civil, Migración y Política Económica Internacional, el representante Mark E. Green, M.D. (R-TN), vice presidente del Subcomité, y los representantes Juan Vargas (D-CA), Maria E. Salazar (R-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) y Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL) emitieron la siguiente declaración antes del tercer aniversario de protestas en Nicaragua contra el régimen de Ortega:

Apr 16, 2021

(Washington, D.C.) - Today, Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, Migration, and International Economic Policy, Rep. Mark E. Green, M.D. (R-TN), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee, Reps. Juan Vargas (D-CA), Maria E. Salazar (R-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement before the third anniversary of protests in Nicaragua against the Ortega regime:

Apr 16, 2021

This week, I chaired a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere hearing regarding migration from Central America. I also cosponsored several pieces of legislation focused on replacing lead pipes in public housing, expanding eligibility for SNAP benefits, and funding the transition of public buildings to sustainable energy use.

Apr 14, 2021

(Washington, D.C.) – Hoy, el congresista Albio Sires (D-NJ), presidente del Subcomité para el Hemisferio Occidental, pronunció las siguientes palabras de apertura en la audiencia del Congreso que convocó titulada “Renewing the United States’ Commitment to Addressing the Root Causes of Migration from Central America”:

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.

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