Foreign Affairs, National Security, and Veterans

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 people in America 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 reflect priorities from a bygone Cold War era. I am a member of the Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control Working Group, which aims to update our nuclear weapons programs to reflect our 21st century priorities and reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy. It is also long past time to close the shameful Guantanamo Bay Detention Center that has made people in America less safe. 

Congress’ role in authorizing acts of war is not only required by the Constitution, but it’s also 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. 


The people who bravely served our nation in the military deserve our deepest respect. In the same way that we should provide quality equipment and support to our servicemembers in the field, we should provide quality support and benefits when they return home. 

I pushed the Department of Veterans Affairs to adopt the Veterans Choice Program, which allowed thousands of veterans in remote areas of my district to choose a local, private medical provider instead of being mandated to travel long distances to VA clinics. My staff and I continue to work closely with the VA to improve the Veterans Choice Program to make it work better for our vets. 

In 2022, I reintroduced the Recruiting in Underserved Rural Areas and Localities for Veterans (RURAL Veterans) Act. The bill would create an Office of Rural Recruitment in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that would provide a focused and targeted nationwide plan for recruiting VA doctors to rural areas. This office will also be required to submit annual reports on the status of rural VA health care to make sure the department is meeting its goals. Our veterans deserve access to quality medical care that isn’t hours away. 

We owe it to our veterans and their families to protect benefits and maintain strong support for programs that assist with their employment, housing, education, and healthcare. I strongly oppose schemes that would privatize and degrade the quality of care at the VA.