Our nation is faced with a variety of challenges abroad; below are my views on a number of issues that I continue to monitor in Congress.
Combating Religious Persecution
As a former pastor, I am deeply concerned about the persecution of religious minorities throughout the world and the atrocities committed by the terrorist group ISIL. Recognizing the need to improve the U.S. government’s ability to advance and protect religious freedoms, I cosponsored and Congress passed H.R.1150, the Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Act, which strengthens our efforts to address growing religious persecution and violent extremism around the world. H.R.1150 was signed into law in December 2016. In December 2017, I voted in favor of H.Res.407, where the House of Representatives passed the resolution condemning the persecution of Christians around the world, and reaffirmed that religious freedom is a fundamental right of every individual, and should never be abridged by any government.
Since Israel’s founding in 1948, the United States has demonstrated its commitment to Israel’s security and has maintained close defense and diplomatic cooperation with this ally in the Middle East. In September 2016 the House supported and the President signed into law a long-term Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on military assistance to Israel which will provide security assistance to Israel over the next ten years. I am a cosponsor of H.R. 1837, the U.S.-Israel Cooperation Enhancement and Regional Security Act, which will help both nations respond effectively to security challenges and deepen our economic cooperation.
In May 2018, President Trump announced that the United States would terminate its participation in the Iran nuclear deal. I had deep concerns about the nuclear deal with Iran and the dangerous repercussions it had for the United States, Israel, and our allies. To hold Iran accountable, I cosponsored, and voted in support of, H.R.1698, Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act. The legislation would apply additional sanctions on foreign companies and banks who are facilitating Iran’s missile program. Additionally, I cosponsored of H.R. 5132, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Economic Exclusion Act, which would strengthen the bans on transactions with the IRGC, a known state sponsor of terrorism, and expand mandatory sanctions against them for its human rights violations.
Monitoring Rogue Nations
Congress must stand firm against provocations that threaten the security of our citizens and our allies around the world. The rhetoric and the aggressive actions by North Korea are unacceptable and the United States must take every action to work with our foreign partners to deter those who threaten our homeland. In April 2017, I voted in support of H.Res.92, condemning North Korea’s development of multiple intercontinental ballistic missiles. Additionally, I voted in favor of H.R. 3898, Otto Warmbier North Korea Nuclear Sanctions Act, following the tragic death of Otto Warmbier after he was detained in North Korea for over a year. The legislation would impose the most far-reaching sanctions to date on North Korea making it more difficult for the country to develop nuclear weapons and put tremendous economic pressure on the Kim regime.
Furthermore, in July 2017, the House overwhelming passed H.R.3364, Countering Adversarial Nations Through Sanctions Act, which expands sanctions against: Iran for its ballistic missile activity and human rights abuses; Russia for its destabilizing actions in Ukraine, its hostile cyber and influence activities; as well as North Korea for its recent aggressive weapons activity. The bill was signed into law in August 2017.
The barbaric acts by the Syrian government and the humanitarian crisis it has caused cannot be ignored, and requires decisive action. In June 2017, the House passed H.R.390, the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act. The bill directs the State Department to provide emergency relief to victims of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and encourages coordination with foreign governments to identify and prosecute individuals who are suspected of committing these horrific crimes.
United Nations Accountability
I remain concerned about the efficiency and effectiveness of the United Nations (UN) system. In the past I have cosponsored legislation that would give the U.S. greater say over how our tax dollars are spent at the United Nations. Additionally, any U.S. foreign policy initiative should protect our freedoms at home and abroad.
U.S. foreign assistance is not a right, and as a federal legislator I seriously consider all foreign aid requests to ensure taxpayer resources are being used effectively and in a manner that strengthens our nation’s interest abroad. I have long supported greater oversight of federal resources abroad, including certain reconstruction projects in Afghanistan which the Inspector General has found to be wrought with waste. In July 2018, in response to inquiries made by myself and fellow colleagues, the Inspector General identified $15.5 billion in waste, fraud, and abuse in these projects. This level of waste is staggering and unacceptable. I will continue to support efforts to improve oversight and shine light on how American tax dollars are being misspent.
09/11/2019 – Cosponsor: H.Res.552 - Calling on the Government of the Russian Federation to provide evidence of wrongdoing or to release United States citizen Paul Whelan
04/25/2019 – Cosponsor: H.Res.246 - Opposing efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement targeting Israel.
03/21/2019– Cosponsor: H.R. 1837, United States-Israel Cooperation Enhancement and Regional Security Act
04/13/2018 – Cosponsor: H.R.5141, United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018
04/12/2018 – Cosponsor: H.R. 5132, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Economic Exclusion Act
04/12/2018 – Cosponsor: Opposing the detention and deportation of Iraqi Chaldean Christians
11/13/2017 – Cosponsor: H.R.4022, Reach Every Mother and Child Act of 2017
07/26/2017 – Cosponsor: H.R.1164, Taylor Force Act
04/06/2017 – Cosponsor: H.R.1698, Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act
04/05/2017 – Cosponsor: H.R. 1697 Israel Anti-Boycott Act
01/12/2017 – Cosponsor: H.R.466, Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act
07/08/2016 – Select Committee on Benghazi Proposed Final Report
10/22/2019 – House Passes Resolution Calling for Paul Whelan's Release
06/16/2016 – Walberg Amendment Prevents Wasteful Afghanistan Infrastructure Spending
05/17/2016 – Walberg Questions White House Narrative on the Iran Nuclear Deal