Foreign Policy

I believe in an inclusive foreign policy — one that centers on human rights, justice and peace as the pillars of America’s engagement in the world, one that brings our troops home and truly makes military action a last resort.

This means reorienting our foreign affairs to focus on diplomacy and economic and cultural engagement. At a time when we spend more on our military than the next seven countries combined, our global armed presence is often the most immediate contact people in the developing world have with the United States. I am a strong advocate for drawing down our out- of-control defense spending and reinvesting those resources back into our local communities. We must also demilitarize our foreign policy by repealing the 2001 AUMF, and reclaiming Congress’s constitutional authority over war powers. Doing so is the only way to end our state of perpetual and endless war, and avoid military-use as a last resort in the future.

Creating an inclusive foreign policy also means reconsidering harmful sanctions and other interventionist policies that interfere with democratically-elected governments. Academic research has shown that sanctions achieve their desired goals only about a third of the time and in the worst-case scenario, they can hurt people of a country – generally the very people we’re purporting to help – without making a dent in the country’s behavior. In Congress, I am pushing to end the use of sanctions and embargoes as a means of punishment and control, and instead focus instead on diplomatic solutions with a long-term strategic vision.

I also feel strongly that our foreign policy should reflect our domestic values. That is why I strongly advocate for international programs that address the climate crisis, increase economic opportunity, end mass incarceration and protect vulnerable populations, just as I do domestically. These are principles that must extend not only to our foreign policies but to the trade agreements we enter into, avoiding any economic bargains that undermine our labor and environmental standards at home or abroad. Once we fully implement these policies, we can begin to repair the harm that’s been done, restore America’s broken image, and rebuild in diplomatic relationships.

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More on Foreign Policy

May 13, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON— Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) led more than 300 international lawmakers across two dozen countries in a letter to the leadership of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today, calling on the international financial institutions to cancel low-income countries’ debt in response to the global COVID-19 crisis and provide a major infusion of financial support to avert a global economic meltdown.
May 6, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) led a letter to General Stephen J. Townsend today calling for increased transparency and public accountability of civilian causalities from the United States Defense Department’s Africa Command (AFRICOM). The letter was signed by Rep. Adam Smith, Chair, House Committee on Armed Services; Rep. Adam Schiff, Chair, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; Rep. Eliot Engel, Chair, House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Rep. André Carson, Chair, Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation; Rep.

April 28, 2020 Press Release

MINNEAPOLIS—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) released the following statement after Somalia labeled Voice of America journalist Harun Maruf a “threat” to security.

April 6, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) led Members of Congress on a series of letters to the CEOs of American companies today, calling on them to stop the use of forced labor of the Uyghur Muslim population in China. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute has painstakingly tracked both forced transfers of workers from Xinjiang to other parts of China, and the use of Uyghur labor in factories within Xinjiang.

February 18, 2020 Event
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February 12, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON -- Today, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) unveiled the Pathway to PEACE (Progressive, Equitable, and Constructive Engagement), a package of seven bills aimed at reorienting U.S. foreign policy. The package outlines a bold progressive vision to rethink the country’s approach to foreign policy by centering human rights, justice and peace as the pillars of America’s engagement in the world, and making military action a last resort.

January 5, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Barbara Lee today announced a War Powers Resolution in the United States House of Representatives to direct the removal of the United States Armed Forces from hostilities against Iran that have not been authorized by Congress. The resolution is a companion to a War Powers Resolution authored by Sen. Tim Kaine in the Senate.

December 23, 2019 Press Release

MINNEAPOLIS – Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) released an end of year progress report of her tenure in Congress thus far, along with an op-ed and graphic.

December 17, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON–Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) issued the following statement on securing debt relief for Somalia in H.R. 1158 – the DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act.

“I am thrilled we were able to secure debt relief for Somalia today. Somalia continues to hold crushing amounts of debt—which holds back the economy and keeps millions of Somalis in poverty. This doesn’t just have an impact on Somalis in Somalia, but on the thousands of Somali- Americans who live in my district and have family in the region.

December 11, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON–Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) issued the following statement on the conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):