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.
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.
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
Last week in Washington, I introduced two bills, H.R. 5404 and H.R. 5426, and voted on legislation to lower the price of prescription drugs and reinvest in our public health system. I also attended a House Transportation and Infrastructure hearing on the Boeing 737 MAX and chaired a Western Hemisphere Subcommittee hearing on Haiti.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade, delivered the following opening remarks at the subcommittee hearing he convened, entitled “Haiti on the Brink: Assessing U.S. Policy Toward a Country in Crisis”:
“This hearing comes at a critical time for Haiti. For much of the past year, the country has been gripped by a political and economic crisis. Many factors are contributing to this concerning situation.
Last week in Washington, the House of Representatives passed my resolution disapproving Russia’s inclusion in future G-7 summits with bipartisan support. The House also considered legislation on voting rights, robocalls, and insider trading. I met with the Prime Minister of the Transitional Government of Sudan and advocated for Puerto Rico’s promised emergency relief.
(Washington, D.C.) – Hoy, el presidente Albio Sires (D-NJ) y el miembro de rango Francis Rooney (R-FL) del Subcomité del Hemisferio Occidental, Seguridad Civil y Comercio, presentaron una resolución que apoya a la sociedad civil nicaragüense, condena las continuas violaciones de derechos humanos por parte del gobierno de Ortega y pide una mayor presión internacional para promover el respeto de los principios democráticos en Nicaragua:
(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, introduced a resolution supporting Nicaraguan civil society, condemning the Ortega government’s continued violations of human rights, and calling for increased international pressure to promote respect for democratic principles in Nicaragua:
(Washington, D.C.) —House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel (D-NY) and Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security and Trade Chairman Albio Sires (D-NJ) today demanded answers from the Trump Administration on the continued withholding of crucial USAID poverty reduction assistance to Central America.
(Washington D.C.) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) released the following statement after his bipartisan resolution, H.Res.546, disapproving Russia’s inclusion in future Group of Seven (G-7) summits until it respects the territorial integrity of its neighbors and adheres to the standards of democratic societies, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 339-71:
This week in Washington, I voted for the passage of legislation to support veteran-owned small businesses as well as a bill to increase the competitiveness of U.S. exports. I met with DACA recipients, the New Jersey League of Conservation, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and more to discuss the impacts of federal policy on our community. I also attended a House Budget Committee hearing with the Chair of the Federal Reserve and a Europe and Eurasia Subcommittee hearing on democratic values in NATO.
(Washington, DC) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade, called for free and fair elections as soon as possible in Bolivia, following the resignation announcement of President Evo Morales:
Last week in Washington, the House voted on guidelines and rules for the official impeachment inquiry and the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed my bipartisan resolution. I sought answers from Boeing executives on the lack of oversight and accountability that caused the 737 MAX tragedies and met with representatives of United Steelworkers.