Foreign Affairs and National Security
The United States should be a model, leader, and partner in global efforts to combat climate change, prevent international terrorism, and secure human rights. However, protecting our national interests and keeping Americans safe requires that we be smart, not just tough. We must learn from history to avoid repeating past mistakes.
We can maintain a strong national defense alongside smart reductions in spending that do not compromise the safety of Americans at home or abroad. For instance, our nuclear weapons programs and overseas basing reflect priorities from a bygone Cold War era. We must also work to achieve a safe and permanent drawdown of our troops in Afghanistan and end unnecessary military interventions abroad. It is also long past time to close the shameful Guantanamo Bay Detention Center that has made Americans less safe.
Congress’ role in authorizing acts of war is not only required by the Constitution, it is necessary to ensure that the President’s proposed, military actions are appropriate, legitimate, and narrowly focused to prevent drawing us into a military quagmire, creating or worsening a humanitarian crisis, or escalating sectarian or regional conflict.
In 2017, I spoke out against President Trump’s decision to unilaterally launch missile attacks on Syria without congressional approval. I am appalled by the atrocities Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has committed, including his use of banned chemical weapons that has killed dozens of innocent men, women, and children. The United States should work with our allies and through established, international channels to support the Syrian people and to hold Assad, his regime, and its Russian enablers, accountable for war crimes. But the constitution does not allow presidents to go to war without congressional authorization and it is past time to reaffirm this basic principle. Throughout my time in Congress, I have worked to help minimize the conflict and famine in Yemen, urging President Trump and former President Obama to call attention to – and to reduce – our military involvement in the conflict. I also voted for the House resolution to demand the Trump administration to withdraw support for the war in Yemen.
- April 07, 2020
- March 31, 2020
- September 11, 2015
- September 09, 2015
- July 14, 2015
- February 02, 2015
- December 10, 2014