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
(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Sires voted in favor of legislation to increase and strengthen sanctions against Iran, North Korea, and Russia. H.R. 3364, the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 419 to 3. This legislation would expand and reinforce sanctions against entities who engage with countries that have perpetrated acts of aggression against the United States, its allies, or its interests.
While in Washington this week, I expressed my concerns about the lack of infrastructure investment at a Highways and Transit Subcommittee Hearing, spent time with American heroes at the Congressional Charity Golf Classic, discussed the importance of engaging with the Caribbean at a Western Hemisphere Subcommittee hearing, and held a number of meetings.
This week in Washington, I discussed microfinance and the importance of international diplomacy at a Foreign Affairs Hearing and at a Western Hemisphere Subcommittee hearing, spoke with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly about President Trump’s immigration reforms, voted on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and held a number of meetings.
While in Washington last week, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee marked up the 21st Century AIRR Act, I questioned UN Ambassador Nikki Haley at a Foreign Affairs Committee Meeting, and held a number of meetings.
It was a difficult week in Washington this week as members of Congress came under attack during a routine practice for a bipartisan annual tradition, the Congressional baseball game. However, our important work must continue. This week, I introduced legislation to grow America’s workforce, called for the creation of an American Latino Museum, questioned Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the viability of President Trump’s proposed budget cuts, and held a number of meetings.
(Washington, D.C.)- Congressman Sires issued the following statement condemning the attack in Egypt that targeted Coptic Christians traveling to the Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor:
This week in Washington, I spoke out against the President’s budget proposal and the CBO score of the Republican health care bill, attended markups in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, and held a number of meetings.
This week in Washington, I pushed for a special prosecutor and independent commission to investigate the Administration’s ties to Russia, attended a hearing on air traffic control (ATC) privatization and energy opportunities in South America, and held a number of meetings.
While in Washington this week, I voted against legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act and voted for an Omnibus appropriations package to fund the government through fiscal year (FY) 2017. I also attended a hearing on airline customer service, participated in a House Foreign Affairs Committee markup, and held a number of meetings.
This week in Washington, I voted on legislation to prevent a government shutdown, participated in a number of hearings, held a number of meetings, sent a letter to President Trump, and honored human rights defenders at an event hosted by the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI).