I believe America has an indispensable role to play in promoting health, human rights, opportunity, and freedom around the world. And therefore, I believe a strong commitment to foreign aid is vital.
We already spend less than 1% of our federal budget on foreign aid, but our small investments in humanitarian, health, and education assistance reap rewards for the American people by helping to reduce violence and promote stability.
Foreign aid also helps our country build new friendships abroad and to create a more prosperous and peaceful world. Even military leaders say diplomacy and development are key components of maintaining American security.
That is why I believe we should be investing more in foreign assistance. Each year, I support requests of billions of dollars in appropriations for clean water, the Peace Corps, international basic education, global health programs, and other forms of economic and material aid that have been shown to save lives and promote peace for very little investment on our part.
I do not believe that nuclear weapons should be considered as a first option, nor do I believe they should be used hastily. That is why I cosponsored legislation to prohibit the president from conducting a first-use nuclear weapon strike without congressional approval. A nuclear strike is a clear act of war and therefore, the power rests with the United States Congress.
Nuclear proliferation is also a serious threat, which requires early action to prevent. That is why I’m supportive of diplomatic efforts to stop burgeoning nuclear programs in unfriendly countries like North Korea and Iran. Past experiences have shown that diplomacy can be an effective means of reducing the threat of a nuclear conflict. I believe the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which effectively stopped Iran’s nuclear program, was a success of diplomacy and peace and should be supported. I oppose President Trump’s attempts to weaken this agreement by pulling out of it. That decision risks conflict with our allies while paving the way for Iran to resume their nuclear program.
I’m committed to strengthening the U.S.-Armenia relationship. Our countries share deep economic ties, and I’m proud to support our foreign aid to Armenia each year. But I know we can do more. That is why I have also called for a new double tax treaty to help businesses here who also do business in Armenia to thrive and bring our countries closer in mutual prosperity.
Standing with Armenia also means standing with the people of Artsakh who have been under attack by Azerbaijan since their peaceful call for self-determination. Azerbaijan’s violent response is unacceptable. That is why I condemned the violence and joined my House colleagues to send a letter to the president urging him to work with both sides to bring peace to the people of Artsakh. I have also called to suspend aid to Azerbaijan if they continue in their aggression against the people of Artsakh.
Finally, it is time we recognize the historical reality of the Armenian Genocide. The horrific and intentional murder of Armenians will not be forgotten and cannot be ignored. I’ve been a proud cosponsor of the House resolution to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide each Congress. This resolution would put the U.S. on the right side of history, and I will continue to speak out until our government does the right thing and acknowledges the tragedy of the Armenian Genocide.
The US and Israel share a great friendship based on common security interests and shared values. I believe we must stand by Israel by continuing our robust foreign assistance, speaking out against those who try to delegitimize Israel through boycotts, divestments, and sanctions, and supporting the goal of a two-state solution that will finally bring peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians.
But steps like the destruction of Palestinian villages in the West Bank in order to build settlements make a negotiated two-state solution more difficult, which is why I have supported calls for Israel to halt these destructions. I am also troubled by the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and President Trump’s decision in early 2018 to withhold more than 80 percent of U.S. contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). This aid is critical to providing services in Gaza, where more than 50 percent of the children live beneath the poverty level and 95 percent of tap water is not safe to drink. The decision to cut aid will exacerbate humanitarian and security issues.
Ultimately, I continue to believe that a negotiated agreement that establishes two states living side-by-side in peace and security remains the only solution to the ongoing conflict. Questions of borders, governance, terrorism, and refugees loom large. But these problems can be resolved through the Israelis and Palestinians sitting down to negotiate together.
More on Foreign Policy
Washington, DC — Today, the House of Representatives votes to pass H.R. 256, Repealing the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. This bill, introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13), will repeal the AUMF that was used to authorize action to defend the national security of the United States against the threat posed by Iraq and to enforce all relevant UN Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), a cosponsor of HR 256, issued the following statement:
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the House Judiciary Committee passed the NO BAN Act, the bill introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) and Senator Chris Coons (DE) to prohibit discrimination in our immigration system on the basis of religion and restores the separation of powers by limiting the ability of future Presidents to issue similarly discriminatory travel bans. The bill will be sent to the floor of the House of Representatives, where a vote is expected in the near future.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6395, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. The bill would authorize $732 billion in discretionary spending for national defense, including $69 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) voted against the NDAA and issued the following statement:
Washington, DC — Today, in accordance with the War Powers Resolution of 1973, the House of Representatives passed H. Con. Res. 83 to terminate the use of US Armed Forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran, unless approved by Congress. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) voted for the resolution and issued the following statement:
This morning in Baghdad, the US conducted a missile strike that killed Iranian General Qasem Suleimani and others. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) issued the following statement:
Washington, DC — Today, the House of Representatives voted on two packages of spending bills to keep the government open through fiscal year 2020 at levels higher than current funding and higher than the President’s budget request. The first package, under H.R.
Washington, DC — The House of Representatives today passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, as reported by the House and Senate conference committee. The conference report authorizes $738 billion for Defense programs in FY2020, including $635 billion in base funding for the Department of Defense (DOD) and $71.5 billion in Oversees Contingency Operations (COO) funding. It creates a new U.S.
Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Jackie Kanchelian Speier (D-CA) arrived in Stepanakert for their first visit to the Republic of Artsakh, sending a powerful message to Azerbaijan’s Aliyev regime that threats to “blacklist” U.S. legislators will not deter them from traveling to Artsakh and engaging in democratic dialogue with its citizens, elected officials, and civic leaders, reported the Armenian National Committee of America.
Washington, DC —On August 5, 2019, India imposed a media blackout leaving millions in Jammu and Kashmir without access to mobile phones or the internet while many others have been held in “preventative detention” for over a month. As a result, family members in the United States and elsewhere have had no ability to contact loved ones in Jammu and Kashmir, leading to concerns about their welfare. Today, in the wake of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States, Reps.
Washington, DC — On June 14, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) sent a letter to President Trump urging him to take immediate action to ease the suffering of Syrians in Idlib province. The letter calls for pressuring Turkey to let in humanitarian aid, lifting the Muslim ban so refugees can find safety in the U.S., and working with Russia and Turkey to find a lasting political solution. The text of the letter is online here and included below: