As a Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Chairman of the Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade Subcommittee, I believe that America is the greatest country in the world and with that position comes responsibility. Since its founding, America has stood as a beacon of liberty to a watching world. We must stand up for those who have no voice. Dictators and their crony regimes must be opposed. Universal rights, such as freedom and justice, must be upheld.
As a Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, my colleagues and I work to ensure that these principles are upheld. Make no mistake about it: not all governments agree with those principles. One of the worst regimes that threatens our very national security is Iran. As Iran seeks a more powerful role in the Middle East, their quest for nuclear weapons, stated desire to see Israel destroyed, and repression of their own people shows that they are not a regime worthy of leading its own people. I believe that the international community must remain united against the development of nuclear weapons technology in Iran and steadfast in its defense of Israel. It is clear that a nuclear Iran could very quickly ignite an arms race in the Middle East and destabilize an already volatile region. I believe we should seek to empower Iranian citizens to peacefully overthrow the regime and its dictatorial rule.
We also need to be much more careful in how we spend our money. We cannot afford to be the policemen of the world nor throw around our dollars as if Americans did not earn each and every one of them. For example, our foreign aid system is wasteful and broken. Since the passage of the Foreign Assistance Act in 1961, foreign aid programs have spread across 12 departments, 25 agencies, and almost 60 federal offices. Funding levels have likewise swelled, doubling in the last 10 years alone. We give money to organizations that do not achieve the results they promise and governments that pocket the money instead of giving it to their people that are in need. Many of these countries hate us no matter how much we help them. We should not pay countries to hate us- they do that well enough on their own. My bill, the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act, would require the President to make sure we know where every dollar is going, including measurable goals, performance metrics, and monitoring and evaluation plans for all foreign assistance programs. We simply cannot afford to waste taxpayer dollars any longer.
The future preeminence of the United States is not and never has been guaranteed. Generation after generation worked hard and sacrificed much to make us the great country we are today. It is now our turn to ensure the vigor and vitality of America is enjoyed by our children and grandchildren.
To learn more about my involvements and the work being done by the Committee and Subcommittees on Foreign Affairs in the U.S. House of Representatives, please visit http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/.