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

July 23, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Rep. Ilhan Omar led a letter to President Biden requesting more information on the airstrike the United States carried out on July 20th, 2021, in Somalia. The letter also calls on the administration to define “collective self-defense” in the context of the airstrike and explain how the strike fits into the broader Somalia strategy. 

June 23, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-CA), Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Congressman Joe Neguse (D-CO), Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), introduced a resolution reaffirming U.S. commitment to the protection of refugees and displaced persons in honor of World Refugee Day last weekend.
June 11, 2021 Press Release

Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Vice Chair At-Large Chuy García (IL-04), Chair Emeriti Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03) and Barbara Lee (CA-13), Whip Ilhan Omar (MN-05), and Executive Board Member At-Large Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) expressed their support for the democratic process in Peru and their hope that the results of a highly competitive election will be respected. 

June 7, 2021 Press Release
MINNEAPOLIS—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken today about the United States’ opposition to the ICC’s investigations in both Palestine and Afghanistan, including what alternative mechanisms for justice the United States supports for Palestinian, Israeli, and Afghan victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity
May 27, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON—Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), and Adam Smith (D-WA) led a letter to Secretary Mayorkas and Secretary Blinken urging for the extension and redesignation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Somali nationals in the United States. The letter also calls for a timely Federal Register Notice and a competent public information campaign to notify the impacted community of the decision.  
May 17, 2021 Press Release

MINNEAPOLIS—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) released the following statement after the Washington Post reported that the Biden Administration is planning to move forward with an arms sale to the Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu amidst escalating violence and human rights abuses.

“The United States should not stand idly by while crimes against humanity are being committed with our backing. 

May 14, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Suzanne Bonamici, Jan Schakowsky, and Jackie Speier are leading 32 Members in calling for equality for Saudi women on the third anniversary of Saudi Arabia unjustly arresting several women’s rights activists.

May 14, 2021 Press Release
In case you missed it, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) provided remarks yesterday to address the ongoing human rights abuses in Israel and the Gaza Strip. 
May 10, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON—Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), André Carson (D-IN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) issued the following statement today on the attacks on Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan. 
“We are horrified by the violent assault by Israeli forces on the Al Aqsa mosque, and the continued violent attacks on the Palestinian people during the holy month of Ramadan. More than 300 people were injured in the attack, 200 of whom have been hospitalized.
April 16, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) led more than two dozen Members of Congress in a letter to President Biden urging him to formalize the Presidential Determination to increase the refugee admissions target for this fiscal year, following reports that the United States is on pace to set the record for the lowest refugee resettlement in recent history. The letter also calls for the removal of the discriminatory restrictions on the program that was inherited from the previous administration.