National Security and International Relations
The U.S. is a profound force for good in the world. Our ability to impact peace and democracy across the globe is rooted in our economic strength and principles of democracy. Through these diplomatic initiatives, partnered with a strong national defense, the U.S. can keep Americans safe at home and abroad and continue to create positive change throughout the world.
- Funding the Military: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) outlines the budget and expenses for the Department of Defense. Congress must provide the resources our service members need to ensure a strong and smart national security and keep our country safe. I voted for the final version of the NDAA for fiscal year 2017 because in addition to supporting our military, it provided a significant pay raise for service members.
- Foreign Aid: The United States foreign aid budget represents less than one percent of our entire federal budget and includes money to support our allies around the world who help us promote peace and economic prosperity. Our foreign aid budget includes funding for humanitarian assistance, the U.S. Department of State, and agencies such as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Access to basic education, including literacy initiatives and other youth skill programs, is an additional component of U.S. foreign aid priorities.
Foreign aid contributes not only to global humanitarian interests but also to our own national security and economic stability. By helping to foster peace and stability in foreign countries, we build both political allies and strong trading partners while reducing the need for potential military intervention. Foreign aid is essential for U.S. interests around the world and to create stable allies that will foster worldwide peace.
- Bringing home Amir Hekmati: I advocated for nearly four years for the release of Marine veteran, Amir Hekmati. Amir is a Flint native who went to Iran to visit his family in 2011 and was falsely arrested and accused of being a spy. While Amir was in prison, I worked tirelessly with former President Obama and Administration officials to draw attention to his imprisonment and fight for his release. As part of these efforts, I introduced a resolution calling on Iran to release Amir and other American political prisoners. The resolution passed the House unanimously.
In January 2016, Amir and three other Americans were released from imprisonment in Iran. One of the proudest days of my life was flying over to Germany with the Hekmati family to bring him home to Flint. I am incredibly grateful to everyone who worked tirelessly with me to secure Amir’s release.
More on National Security and International Relations
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) issued the following statement today after U.S. and allied forces conducted military strikes in Syria:
“Today’s charges against two top Trump aides are serious and unprecedented. The crimes alleged underscore the importance and gravity of special counsel Mueller’s investigation.
“It is critical that special counsel Mueller be able to continue his investigation without interference, including from the President or his administration. This ongoing investigation should follow the facts, wherever they may lead.”
“By failing to certify the Iran nuclear agreement, President Trump is rejecting the advice of his top defense and diplomatic advisors and putting America’s national security at risk by opening up the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran.
“A President’s most solemn duty is to make a decision as to whether to send young Americans into harm’s way. President Trump owes service members—and the American people—clear stated goals, and a strategy to achieve them, before deploying additional service members to Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the President failed to offer a strategy with a clear objective, timeline and defined end goal. Instead, he vowed to share even less information about the number of young Americans he intends to send to Afghanistan and what exactly he aims to achieve after 16 years of war.
“The President’s ban on transgender service members undermines our military’s readiness and is a slap in the face to the thousands of transgender Americans already serving in the military. Anyone who is willing to put on the uniform of the United States and risk their life in service to our country should be celebrated as patriots, regardless of their gender identity. This short-sighted and discriminatory policy will make America less safe.”
Members of the Michigan Congressional delegation today sent a bipartisan letter to the Secretary of the U.S. Air Force in support of Selfridge Air National Guard Base hosting the Air National Guard’s new F-35 mission. Selfridge, in Harrison Township, is among five National Guard bases that are candidates to host the F-35. The letter was signed by U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, and U.S.
Throughout the controversy surrounding the Trump Administration’s suspicious and undisclosed financial dealings and business partnerships, House Financial Services Committee Democrats have remained committed to following the money trail.
The U.S. House of Representatives today passed legislation introduced by Congressman Kildee (MI-05) to help U.S. service members fight against Russian exploitation and misinformation online. It has been recently reported that Russia has increased its efforts to gain intelligence from military personnel through social media, phishing, hacking and misinformation.
“I am very troubled by reports that police have arrested opposition leader Alexei Navalny as thousands of Russians peacefully protested Vladimir Putin’s autocratic rule. Vladimir Putin wants to stifle democracy at home and abroad and his actions cannot be tolerated.
“President Trump must denounce Putin’s mockery of democracy and human rights. America stands with the Russian people in their struggle against Putin’s oppressive regime.”
“Former FBI Director Comey’s testimony contradicts the President’s past statements. If the President asked the FBI Director to drop a federal investigation into his former National Security Adviser, that is a very serious abuse of power by the President. No American, including the President of the United States, should be allowed to obstruct our justice system.