We live in a dangerous world, and our foreign policy must protect the American people by addressing modern threats. As a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I take national security very seriously. As we wrap up the costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan under the Obama Administration, we are continuing to work to deny Al Qaeda a safe haven in Afghanistan or Pakistan, while also shifting our attention to emerging challenges in countries where terrorist networks can feed off chronic instability and to isolate rogue regimes that threaten our security and global stability.
President Obama has said, "Where the stakes are the highest, in the war on terror, we cannot possibly succeed without extraordinary international cooperation." As we reduce our military footprint around the world, we should increase our investment in diplomatic and economic engagement. With the international community becoming increasingly interdependent, I support strong U.S. leadership in international organizations and institutions such as the United Nations.
I also believe that the United States must continue to be a leader in fighting repression, poverty, disease, and other human suffering throughout the world. I am a member of the Executive Committee of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, and I am committed to promoting fundamental human rights around the world. I strongly support foreign assistance funding, which not only provides critical humanitarian relief but also helps prevent instability and violence in some of the world's most troubled regions.
Investing in women is one proven way to strengthen entire communities. Studies have shown that women are far more likely to invest their money in their families and societies than are men. Educating women and girls, ensuring they have access to health and reproductive care, investing in their small business ventures, and promoting their role as peacemakers in negotiation processes are critical steps toward ensuring stability and prosperity.
I am a supporter of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, and I have worked in Congress to ensure a safe and secure future for the Jewish state. I believe in the importance of a negotiated, two-state solution that establishes a Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel, and as a member of Congress I have worked to help the parties return to the negotiating table to reach such an agreement.
As a member of Congress, I believe in the importance of meeting international partners and experiencing other countries first-hand. We pass legislation that affects the entire international community, and I believe travel is critical to gain global perspective and to understand how our policies shape the lives of people throughout the world.
During my time in Congress, I have traveled to over 30 countries in Latin America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, including Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, Tunisia, Egypt, South Africa, Ghana, Liberia, Haiti, Cuba, Honduras, Colombia, China, India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. During those trips, I have had the opportunity to interact with policy makers, civil society leaders, and citizens to discuss the future of U.S. policy and engagement.
Legislation I’ve Introduced
- International Violence Against Women Act – I introduced the International Violence Against Women Act (IWAVA), a bill to create a comprehensive, 5-year strategy to combat violence against women and girls abroad. This bill would give the U.S. State Department new tools ranging from health programs and survivor services to legal reforms in order to promote economic opportunities and education for women. IVAWA would also increase humanitarian funding and update mechanisms for responding to emergency outbreaks of violence against women and girls.
- International Women’s Day Resolution
- The Stop Outsourcing Security Act – The Stop Outsourcing Security Act would phase out the use of private security contractors in war zones. It would also increase transparency over any remaining security contracts by increasing reporting requirements and Congressional oversight. My bill would ensure that security personnel in conflict zones wear the badge of the United States and answer to the Commander in Chief, not to a private corporation.
- U.S. State Department
- U.S. Mission to the United Nations
- House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
- U.S. Passport Services
- U.S. Institute of Peace
- United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women
- Partners in Health