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

April 9, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) released the following statement on President Biden’s FY2022 budget proposal. 
April 2, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, Reps Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Jim McGovern (D-MA), and Joaquin Castro (D-TX) celebrated the repeal of sanctions on International Criminal Court (ICC) staff previously imposed by the Trump Administration.

In March, the three members sent a letter to Secretary of State Tony Blinken urging the move.

March 26, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) today introduced and passed an amendment to the Saudi Arabia Accountability for Gross Violations of Human Rights Act to create consequences for Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and other Saudi officials involved in the Khashoggi murder.
March 2, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, Rep. Ilhan Omar introduced the Mohammed bin Salman Must be Sanctioned Act (MBS MBS Act) to sanction the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia for his role in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and grave human rights abuses. 

March 1, 2021 Press Release

MINNEAPOLIS—Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) today reintroduced the Protect Against Unlawful Lobbying (PAUL) Act, which strengthens the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and makes sure that lobbyists representing foreign countries act in good faith and operate with full transparency. The bill is a core part of H.R. 1, the For the People Act, expected to be introduced this week.

February 26, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Rep. Omar released the following statement after an intelligence report revealed the Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the plan to assassinate Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. 

“This is a long overdue honest account of the brutality and lawlessness of the  Saudi dictator Mohamed bin Salman. What was already apparent is now unmistakable: MBS and the Saudi regime are directly responsible for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and must be held accountable.

February 26, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) released the following statement on the U.S. air strikes in Syria. 

“I am deeply concerned about the legal justification of the air strikes in Syria. Military action—in a country where Congress has not authorized war—is unconstitutional in almost all circumstances. 

February 19, 2021 Press Release

MINNEAPOLIS—Rep. Ilhan Omar released the following statement on the ongoing situation in Ethiopia.

“My first trip abroad as a Member of Congress was to Ethiopia. I am also entering my second term as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the subcommittee with jurisdiction over Africa and human rights. This year, I am honored to be chosen as the Vice Chair of the subcommittee. The situation in Ethiopia is deeply alarming on many levels, and I have been following it extremely closely. 

February 11, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) was named Vice Chair of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights. This subcommittee has jurisdiction over disaster assistance; upholding and protecting human rights; and oversight of international health issues, maternal health and child survival, the American Red Cross, the Peace Corps, and regional lending institutions.  

Rep. Omar previously served as a member on the subcommittee during the 116th Congress.  

February 11, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rep. Jesús G. “Chuy” García (D-IL) today led a letter urging President Biden to take on a broader analysis of the humanitarian impacts of sanctions and to reconsider sanctions that are impeding COVID relief.  

The letter was also signed by Senator Ed Markey and Reps. Bass, Blumenauer, Bush, Castro, Cicilline, Espaillat, Grijalva, Hank Johnson, Barbara Lee, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Jefferies, Jones, Khanna, McGovern, Moore, Ocasio-Cortez, Pocan, Pressley, Schakowsky, Tlaib, and Welch.