Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement:
“I’m honored that my colleagues have unanimously elected me chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Congress has an important role to play in foreign policy, and I’m committed to making sure we live up to those responsibilities.
“Diplomacy and development are critical to our national security. These efforts help advance our interests, strengthen friendships and alliances, and stop conflicts before they start. We must do all we can to support the public servants carrying out this work, including making an annual State Department authorization a central part of the Committee’s activity.
“As Chairman, I’ll ensure the Committee places a renewed emphasis on America’s overseas alliances—particularly NATO. We’ll work to underscore the importance of American values—human rights, democracy, and the rule of law—as pillars of our foreign policy. And, we will bring a new focus to issues including climate change and the root causes of migration.
“It’s also well past due for the House to grapple with questions of how, when, and where American armed forces are engaged around the world. Successive administrations have acted as though they have a blank check to send our servicemembers into harm’s way, when in fact that is a matter for Congress to decide.
“Thorough and fair oversight is also an essential part of Congress’s role as a coequal branch of government. In the days ahead, the Committee will push the Administration for answers about the way it has crafted policy dealing with some of the world’s most important hotspots, from Saudi Arabia and Yemen, to Venezuela, to Syria, to Russia, to North Korea. I’m confident the Committee can do this work in a way that puts politics to the side and gets to the facts about matters pivotal to our security.
“In the years I served as the Committee’s ranking member, I was proud of the bipartisan record of accomplishment we built. I’m hopeful we can continue on this course, and I look forward to working with Ranking Member McCaul and all our members to advance our country’s interests and values.”
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