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Karen Bass on Foreign Policy

 

 


Diplomacy, development, and defense: three equal pillars

Diplomacy, development, and defense are the three equally important pillars of US foreign policy. Our food, global health, and climate change initiatives save lives abroad and reflect American and democratic values. Our economic development and trade promotion activities help expand markets and create jobs here in the US. A multilateral approach to foreign policy is often most effective to amplifying American interests, including working with our NATO allies and within the United Nations.
Source: 2011 House of Representatives website, "Accomplishments" , Oct 30, 2011

Member of House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Bass is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs , also known as the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has jurisdiction over bills and investigations related to the foreign affairs of the United States. It is less powerful than its Senate counterpart, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, because the House committee does not consider the ratification of treaties or the confirmation of presidential appointments, such as are made for ambassador and Secretary of State.

Source: U.S. House of Representatives website, www.house.gov 11-HC-IR on Feb 3, 2011

Rated +2 by AAI, indicating pro-Arab pro-Palestine voting record.

Bass scores +2 by AAI on Arab-Israeli issues

The Arab American Institute has compiled a Scorecard to catalogue the voting record of the 112th Congress on issues of importance to the Arab American community. For the House, we included 15 items: two bills on the Arab Spring, five bills and one letter on Palestine, two bills on Lebanon, three bills and a letter regarding civil liberties, and two bills on immigration.

  1. H.Res. 88 (+): supporting democratic aspirations in Egypt
  2. H.R. 2643 (+): penalizing the Bahraini government for attacking medical personnel
  3. H.R. 1006 (-): the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act
  4. H.R. 1501 (-): withholding US contributions until the UN retracts accusations of Israeli war crimes.
  5. H.Res. 268 (-): opposing any unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state
  6. H.R. 2457 (-): prohibiting any US government document from referring to "Palestine"
  7. H.R. 2829 (-): defunding the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. The bill's 141 co-sponsors receive a (-).
  8. 8. (+). Rep. David Price (D-NC) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) issued a letter titled "Support Palestinian Aid and Israel's Security," in which they call upon Congress to continue aid to the Palestinian Authority.
  9. H.R. 2215 (*) "to ensure that United States taxpayer dollars are not used to fund terrorist entities in Lebanon
  10. H.R. 996 (+): to raise awareness of the use of cluster munitions where civilians are present
  11. H.R. 140 (-): the "Birthright Citizenship Act, to eliminate "anchor babies" by changing the 14th Amendment.
  12. H. Res. 283 (+): to counter violence and discrimination against Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian communities
  13. H.R. 1805 (-): authorizing an extension of the USA PATRIOT Act until 2013, and amending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)
  14. H.R. 1842 (+): the DREAM Act to protect undocumented minors pursuing higher education.
  15. H.R. 1932 (-): the Keep our Communities Safe Act for greater power to detain undocumented immigrants.
Source: AAI website 12-AAI-H on May 2, 2012

$500M and 3,000 troops to Africa to fight Ebola.

Bass sponsored Ebola Relief Resolution

Congressional Summary:

The current outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia is an international health crisis and is the most widespread outbreak of the disease ever recorded.

Reporting pro & con by Washington Times, Sept. 16, 2014:

Amid dire warnings from medical professionals and frantic calls from Congress for greater US intervention, Pres. Obama said he'll deploy 3,000 American troops to combat an African Ebola outbreak that he says is "spiraling out of control."

The announcement comes as the Ebola death toll officially has reached 2,400, though specialists say underreporting in affected nations means the true numbers likely are much higher.

The US effort will be funded by $500 million in overseas contingency funding that the Pentagon wants to redirect to humanitarian missions. Specifically, the mission will include the training of as many as 500 new doctors and health care workers each week; the construction of at least 17 health care facilities in the region; the establishment of a joint command center in Monrovia, Liberia; and the distribution of home health-care kits in affected areas.

Others blasted the administration for taking a bite out of the Pentagon budget. "You can't have it both ways. You can't slash our defense budget on one hand, while expecting our military to do it on the other," said Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Source: H.Res.701 14_HRes701 on Jul 31, 2014

Enforce humanitarian aid access to South Sudan.

Bass signed enforcing humanitarian aid access to South Sudan

Excerpts from Letter from 12 Senators to President Trump: Since the onset of South Sudan's civil war in 2013, at least 50,000 people have been killed and approximately 3 million have fled their homes. The African Union and the United Nations have documented numerous human rights abuses and warned of potential genocide. The assaults on civilians carried out during the course of the fighting in July 2016 between government and opposition forces shocked the conscience of the world, and served to demonstrate that the August 2015 peace agreement has failed. To date, the government has not held anyone accountable for the violence, nor for attacking a U.S. diplomatic convoy.

UN peacekeepers are protecting over 200,000 people who might otherwise be dead at UN bases in South Sudan. The UN Security Council approved an additional 4,000 peacekeepers in the wake of the July violence. Unfortunately, the government continues to obstruct the deployment of these troops.

In Sudan, it is critical that we ensure that Khartoum lives up to its agreement to adhere to its ceasefires, allow free and unfettered humanitarian access to all parts of Sudan and stop supporting rebel movements in South Sudan.

Supporting argument: (Heritage Foundation, 1/22/2014): The number of casualties and refugees in South Sudan is straining government and international humanitarian efforts. Pressure must be applied to both the government of South Sudan and the rebel faction to reconcile peacefully. The U.S. has a key role to play in the mediation efforts. South Sudan is one of the largest recipients of U.S. bilateral aid in sub-Saharan Africa, and the U.S. was instrumental in helping the young country gain independence and stand up its government. The U.S. should focus now on ending the conflict, political reconciliation, and humanitarian assistance.

Source: South Sudan Letter 17LTR-SUD on Feb 27, 2017

Trump harmed US interest by delaying military aid to Ukraine.

Bass signed House Judiciary Impeachment Report

The [Congressional report on Impeachment] examines the facts underlying the first charge against Pres. Trump: abuse of power. On July 25, 2019, when he spoke by telephone to Pres. Zelensky of Ukraine, Pres.Trump asked Pres. Zelensky to "do us a favor, though." He asked Ukraine to announce two bogus investigations: one into former Vice President Joseph Biden, then his leading opponent in the 2020 election, and another to advance a conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, attacked our elections in 2016. One investigation was designed to help him gain an advantage in the 2020 election. The other was intended to help Pres. Trump conceal the truth about the 2016 election. Neither investigation was supported by the evidence or premised on any legitimate national security or foreign policy interest. After the call with Pres. Zelensky, Pres. Trump ratcheted up the pressure. He continued to dangle the offer of the Oval Office meeting and to withhold the $391 million in military aid.

To the founding generation, abuse of power was a specific, well-defined offense. It occurs when a President exercises the powers of his office to obtain an improper personal benefit while ignoring the national interest. The evidence shows that Pres. Trump leveraged his office to pressure Ukraine for a personal favor.

This unquestionably constitutes an impeachable offense, but the first article of impeachment also identifies two aggravating factors. When Pres. Trump asked Pres. Zelensky for a favor, he did so at the expense of both our national security--America has a vital national security interest in countering Russian aggression--and our election integrity--American democracy above all rests upon elections that are free and fair. When the President demands that a foreign government announce investigations targeting his domestic political rival, he corrupts our elections. To the Founders, this kind of corruption was especially pernicious, and plainly merited impeachment.

Source: Judiciary Committee Impeachment Report (H.R.755), p. 2-3 ImpeachB on Dec 13, 2019

2017-18 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Foreign Policy: Karen Bass on other issues:
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Antonio Villaraigosa
Carly Fiorina
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CA Senatorial:
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Page last updated: Jun 01, 2020