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.
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