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

October 13, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA), and Joaquin Castro (D-TX) led a letter to oppose the treatment of Cameroonian migrants and asylum seekers in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention. The letter also raises serious concerns related to human rights violations, the ongoing Anglophone crisis, and the emergence of Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa. 

September 17, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Yesterday, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) questioned top aides to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on President Trump’s abrupt firing of Steve Linick on May 15, 2020. Linick probed the Trump Administration’s decision to approve billions of dollars in military sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—despite clear opposition from Congress. Rep.

September 2, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON—On July 2, 2020, Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Rep. David Trone (D-MD), and Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) sent a letter to Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States, Princess Reema bint Bandar al Saud concerning the ongoing detention of many women activists, including Loujain Al-Hathloul, Eman Al-Nafjan, and Nouf Abdulaziz.

September 2, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) released the following statement after the United States imposed sanctions on senior officials in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

August 14, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON– Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) today introduced the Israeli Annexation Non-Recognition Act, a bill to prohibit the United States from formally recognizing or providing U.S. aid to any area of the occupied West Bank annexed by the Government of Israel in violation of international law.

July 31, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON–Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) sponsored six amendments that passed yesterday in the State, Foreign Operations, Agriculture, Rural Development, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, the House’s first minibus of the 2021 fiscal year appropriations bill—and an additional amendment through the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

July 22, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) released the following statement after the House passage of the NO BAN Act, legislation to repeal all versions of President Trump’s travel bans and change the law to ensure no future President can implement a similar ban without evidence. 

June 29, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) sent a letter urging USAID to rescind its appointment of Mark Kevin Floyd as USAID Religious Freedom Advisor. Mr. Floyd has a proven track record of prejudice towards those of the Islamic faith and Muslim majority countries, discrimination that is antithetical to USAID’s mission of global development and religious freedom:

June 10, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) led a letter to Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary Michael Pompeo today calling for the Administration to provide a briefing for members on the justifications of the recently announced arms sales to the Philippines, Egypt, India, Hungary, and the United Arab Emirates. The letter also calls for a hold on all arms sales until Congress has the opportunity to review them carefully. 

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.