Washington D.C.—Representatives Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lead Republican of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Chairman of the Committee, participated in a panel at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Conference to discuss their strong support of the U.S.-Israel relationship and their bipartisan work on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Key highlights are below. 

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-Panel Highlights-

On their bipartisan efforts in Congress: “I think this is one of the most important committees in Congress, particularly now.  I chaired Homeland Security when the rise of ISIS and the Caliphate took place. Now it’s nation-state adversaries, like Russia, China, Iran, North Korea. But I am very proud of the work that Eliot and I have done together.  I think it’s because foreign policy should unite us.  We travel overseas on Congressional delegations, and I am not representing my party, Eliot is not representing his, we’re there as Americans first, representing the United States of America and that’s what we believe is important. And so, I think it starts with relationships.” 

On foreign aid to Israel: “Well, I think foreign assistance can encourage certain behavior.  I would not be for conditioning [aid to] Israel. One of the first bills that Eliot and I got passed was full security assistance to the state of Israel.  We think that that was a very important move [and had] our bipartisan support.

On the importance of funding the State Department: “Secretary Mattis said that if you take away my diplomats, we’re going to have to buy more bullets.  Eliot and I understand how this works and I think that when the diplomats fail, that’s when you go to war.  And that’s always the last resort.  So, it’s really easy as a politician to say, “I’m going to cut all foreign assistance across the board.” But when you look in regard to the reality of what that does, it makes the world a more dangerous place.”