Foreign Affairs, Peace, and Diplomacy
Foreign Affairs, Peace, and Diplomacy
"Maintaining our global leadership throughout the world is essential to our national interests and our security."As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I am working hard to strengthen our foreign relationships and building bridges with allies and challenging our adversaries. I serve on both the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific and the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.
In a world of rapid modernization, global trade, and emerging threats, our country must continue to be a key player on the international stage. Through concerted efforts and idea-sharing with public and private organizations around the world, I am thrilled to have a unique opportunity to spur domestic innovation, create jobs, and keep our nation economically secure.
Human rights must be an essential goal of United States foreign policy, and I believe our country should play a critical role in advancing the rights of all peoples across the globe. To learn more about my work on human rights, click here.
Diplomatic RelationsThe United States must continue to be at the forefront of progressive diplomatic efforts and be a key player in gathering intelligence in hostile and volatile areas of the world. At the same time we must promote diplomacy and peaceful resolutions to international conflicts. When America and its allies are faced with violent adversity, we must always stand vigilant and continue our cooperative efforts abroad in the name of liberty and justice for all people.
In April of 2014, I traveled to Ukraine on a bipartisan congressional delegation with members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. I met with many Ukrainian government leaders and activists and discussed Russia’s annexation of Crimea, as well as the then-upcoming Ukrainian national elections. During the diplomatic mission, I also spoke to members of the international media at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center in Ukraine.
It is in our country’s best interest to maintain strong diplomatic relations with Ukraine and countries around the world, especially when the geopolitical ramifications directly affect our national interests.
Iran’s Nuclear Program
The United States has been in negotiations with our P5+1 partners and Iran over the fate of Tehran’s illicit nuclear program. I support President Barack Obama’s effort to negotiate an agreement to end Iran’s nuclear weapons quest, and I am hopeful that the goal may be achieved.
I believe it is crucial for Congress to speak out on what a good deal with Iran would look like and Congress must insist that any final agreement ensures that Tehran has no pathway to a nuclear weapon. Any agreement must also include an inspection and verification regime that provides for inspections to ensure Iran is complying with a deal.
Responding to Syria’s Use of Chemical Weapons
Should diplomatic efforts fail in the case of international conflict, I support robust economic and political sanctions from the international community before deciding upon military action. I firmly believe that peace should always remain our primary goal, but we cannot back down to terrorism or human rights abuses abroad.
In August of 2013, the United Nations and the international community received information that Syrian President Bashar Assad used sarin nerve gas against his own people during a civilian uprising, which eventually led to a deep-rooted and violent civil war. Before the United States considered using force against Bashar, President Barack Obama urged Congress to vote on any potential use of military force against the Syrian government.
The murder of innocent civilians by the Syrian government is an obscenity in and of itself, and the use of chemical weapons is an affront to every rule, law and convention that the United States and the international community hold sacrosanct. I was encouraged by the President’s commitment to listen to the voice of the people, through their representatives in Congress, before engaging U.S. forces in a military strike on Syria. I believe we must discuss, deliberate, and be mindful before we ever resort to force.
In September 2013, the United States and Russia entered into a preliminary agreement which gives Syria a time frame for eradicating its chemical weapons. This agreement also includes the inspection of their weapons by inspectors from the United Nations.Congress did not need to vote on authorizing the use of military force in Syria due to the establishment of the preliminary agreement. Should problems arise with the inspection and surrendering of the weapons, then Congress will once again begin debating the use of military force to protect Syrians from internationally-banned chemical weapons.
The United States is a force for good throughout the world, and I believe it is imperative that we continue to expand our positive impact which can only, in turn, strengthen our relationship with our international friends. Working with intergovernmental agencies such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of State, and the private sector, I believe we can help promote development, democracy, and a thriving economy both at home and abroad.
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