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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

Jun 29, 2020
Last week, I travelled back to Washington D.C. to cast my vote for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The House also considered legislation on Washington D.C. statehood and I announced additional funding for NJ Transit from the CARES Act.
Jun 22, 2020
Last week I continued to work with my colleagues on legislation addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, helped provide COVID-19 tests in the 8th District, and spoke at a virtual House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure Markup.
Jun 20, 2020

(Washington, D.C.)- Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) released the following statement expressing concern about Israel’s potential unilateral annexation of territory in the West Bank:

 

Jun 16, 2020

(Washington, D.C.) – Hoy, el congresista Albio Sires (D-NJ) y el congresista Francis Rooney (R-FL), presidente y miembro de rango del subcomité del hemisferio occidental del Comité de Asuntos Exteriores, emitieron la siguiente declaración en respuesta al nombramiento de nuevos miembros al Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) por el régimen ilegítimo de Maduro, en clara violación de la constitución venezolana:
 

Jun 16, 2020


(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Congressman Francis Rooney (R-FL), Chairman and Ranking Member respectively of the House Foreign Affairs Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, issued the following statement in response to the illegitimate Maduro regime naming new members to the National Electoral Council (CNE), in clear violation of the Venezuelan constitution:

May 12, 2020

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Reps. Albio Sires (D-NJ), Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Francis Rooney (R-FL), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), and Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR) released the following statement expressing support for a transparent vote recount in Guyana:

“We welcome the decision to initiate a vote recount in Guyana and reiterate our bipartisan commitment to supporting a fully transparent election process that reflects the will of the Guyanese people.

Mar 10, 2020

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Chairman Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Francis Rooney (R-FL) of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade  released the following statement after their bipartisan resolution, H.Res.754, supporting human rights and democracy in Nicaragua, passed the House of Representatives by voice vote:

Mar 6, 2020

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Reps. Albio Sires (D-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), and Francis Rooney (R-FL) released the following statement regarding recent events in Guyana:

Feb 28, 2020

(Washington, DC) – Today, Reps. Albio Sires (D-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Francis Rooney (R-FL), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), and Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR) released the following statement regarding the March 2nd elections in Guyana:

Feb 19, 2020

Last week in Washington, the House voted on removing the deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment and expanding public land protections. I met with the New Jersey Fraternal Order of the Police, representatives of New Jersey community colleges, the NJ Clean Cities Coalition and Transportation Energy Partners, and more. I attended a House Budget Committee hearing and also chaired a Western Hemisphere Subcommittee hearing.

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