The foreign policy challenges facing our nation today are immense. They include successfully drawing down our combat forces in Iraq, completing our mission to defeat Al Qaeda and its allies in Afghanistan and western Pakistan, halting Iran’s rapidly progressing nuclear program, supporting our stalwart ally Israel, and bolstering international efforts to combat the grave threat of nuclear terrorism.
I am honored to serve on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as Chairman of the Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs Subcommittee. Through this position, I am working to highlight issues facing this region, especially terrorism, non-proliferation and U.S. foreign assistance programs.
In response to the growing threat of nuclear proliferation I created and became the co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Caucus on Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism. I have also introduced the Nuclear Trafficking Prevention Act, legislation aimed at curbing nuclear proliferation by establishing the transfer of nuclear material or technology to terrorists as a crime against humanity. I support the ratification of the New START treaty and am working to build support for this important accord in the Senate.
Foreign policy issues are often consequential to our recovering economy. I have called on the Treasury Secretary to declare China a currency manipulator to end their unfair export advantage, and I have also cosponsored the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act which would give the Treasury Department less flexibility when deciding to cite countries for currency manipulation.
I recognize that the United States has a responsibility to respond to humanitarian crises around the world. I have cosponsored legislation to aid countries in need of reliable food supplies, helped secure the safe evacuation of orphans from Haiti after the devastating earthquake, and urged foreign governments to support refugees of war torn regions.
As Pennsylvania's Senator, I am committed to ensuring safety at home and fostering respect for America abroad so that our children have the opportunity to live in a world of peace and prosperity.
As Israel combats the threat posed by Hamas, I welcome its recent decision to create a list banning the import of weapons and dual-use items while allowing all other items into Gaza.
The U.S. must continue to support Israel’s vigilance in preventing the militarization of Hamas. Israel has the right under international law to set up a naval blockade to keep weapons from being sent to Hamas and a responsibility to protect its homeland. Hamas is a terrorist organization that denies Israel’s right to exist. It has indiscriminately fired thousands of rockets at Israeli citizens and towns. It is a proxy for Iran and the main impediment to peace in the region. I call upon Hamas to recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce the use of violence, and abide by previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinian people.
The organizers of the flotilla intended to provoke Israel and use force when it challenged the blockade. This confrontation could have been avoided had the organizers of the flotilla agreed to Israel’s repeated offers to accept the humanitarian aid at the Ashdod port and transfer it to Gaza. I applaud the Administration’s efforts to defend Israel at the United Nations as many around the world rushed to judgment. I stand side by side with Israel and its right to defend itself. Its citizens deserve to live without fear. And as we move forward, we must continue to do all we can to strengthen this unbreakable bond.
As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senate Casey serves as the Chairman of the Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs Subcommittee. The Subcommittee plays a key role in the foreign policy debates in the critical regions of the Middle East and South Asia.
Iran Sanctions: To increase pressure on Iran, Senator Casey introduced the bipartisan Iran Sanctions Enabling Act, which would authorize the divestment of public pension money from companies doing business in Iran’s oil and natural gas sector. Senator Casey also cosponsored the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act to strengthen the President’s ability to impose sanctions on companies that help Iran import or develop refined petroleum. Both measures are now law.
Iran Censorship VOICE Act: Senator Casey joined Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and others to introduce bipartisan legislation passed by the Senate that will help strengthen the ability of the Iranian people to get access to news and information and overcome the electronic censorship and monitoring efforts of the Iranian regime.
Supporting Demonstrations Against Iranian Regime: In February, the Senate passed a resolution authored by Senator Casey expressing support for Iranian citizens’ rights to freedom of assembly, speech and due process. The bipartisan resolution passed by unanimous consent after a day of peaceful street demonstrations in Iran were repressed by the government authorities and Basiji militia.
Led Trip to the Middle East: In July, Senator Casey led a Senate delegation to the Middle East to discuss the ongoing threat posed by Iran and to review developments in the Middle East peace process. Senator Casey traveled to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Israel, the West Bank, Lebanon and Egypt where he met with top officials. He met with U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait. In Iraq he also met with Vice President Biden and General Ray Odierno, Commander of U.S. troops.
Women in Afghanistan: Senator Casey co-chaired a hearing in February entitled “Afghan Women and Girls: Building the Future of Afghanistan,” that focused on ensuring that Afghan women are given the tools and opportunities to play a key role in the future of Afghanistan.