Congresswoman Speier is deeply committed to keeping Americans safe and advancing democratic values around the world. She believes that providing effective oversight of our national security apparatus is essential to accomplishing these objectives. Congresswoman Speier serves on both the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). Congresswoman Speier works tirelessly to hold our national security leadership accountable for protecting our interests and our values. She is also dedicated to ensuring that the intelligence community is independent of political influence and reflects of our nation’s rich diversity.

Congresswoman Speier was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives during the Iraq War. She used her very first floor speech to call for the return of American troops after hearing from constituents at over 60 meetings that they wanted an end to American deployments to Iraq. She remains committed to preventing costly, aimless American military engagements that harm our national interest.

From her position on the HASC, Congresswoman Speier demands that the Department of Defense (DoD) adhere to the highest standards of transparency and accountability. She conducts oversight to make sure critical efforts to maintain military readiness and cutting-edge operational capabilities draw on the best management practices and that Department and military leadership are accountable stewards of America’s resources, especially our brave servicemembers. A strong national defense requires Congress to make policy and spending decisions based on ample information and insight. Serving both on HASC and HPSCI, Congresswoman Speier is one of the best positioned Members of Congress to oversee our nation’s defense and foreign policies.

Protecting our Democracy from Foreign Adversaries

Congresswoman Speier believes all Americans should be deeply concerned by troubling evidence of foreign efforts to influence our democracy. That’s why she has consistently called for efforts to harden our cyber defenses, detect incursions, and ensure that our cyber defenders are able to follow through with proportionate responses to cyber-attacks. In January 2019, she introduced H.R. 1028, the RIGHT Act to prevent foreign money from influencing our elections. She also introduced legislation to prevent any federal funding for a cybersecurity unit with Russia, as the President had proposed. For more information, please see Election Security page.

U.S.-China Relations

In Congresswoman Speier’s view, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) offers both risks and opportunities for our nation’s security. The Chinese economy is inextricably linked with ours and our country is immeasurably richer for the contributions of Chinese Americans. Yet the PRC’s growing military, its aggressive actions in the South China Sea, and harassment of U.S. and other ships is a cause for concern and continued U.S. engagement in the Pacific. The PRC government also has a deeply troubling record of human rights abuses. Congresswoman Speier will continue to use her position in Congress to speak out on behalf of persecuted ethnic and religious minorities. Congresswoman Speier maintains that if China wants to be accepted as a partner in the community of nations, they must immediately stop the routine and horrifying detention and torture of peaceful activists and people of faith.

U.S.-Israel Partnership and Support for a Two-State Solution

Congresswoman Speier is a steadfast supporter of the United States’ special relationship with Israel. She believes that the United States and Israel, the Middle East’s only democracy, share values and beliefs that make continued, close cooperation on security, technology, and myriad other issues are in the best interests of both countries. Congresswoman Speier also believes strongly in the right of the Palestinian people to have their own country in lands currently occupied by Israel. Direct diplomacy between the parties, assisted by the United States, represents the best path to achieving a two-state solution. Congresswoman Speier also thinks the United States must work closely with the Israeli government and Palestinian Authority to address their respective issues with recent anti-democratic legislation and accountable governance.

Promoting Global Women’s Empowerment and Access to Health Care

Congresswoman Speier believes that our world is safer and more prosperous when women are educated, have access to health care, and can participate in the global economy. She opposes the Trump Administration’s reinstatement and expansion of the Global Gag Rule, which blocks foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that receive U.S. health aid from providing referrals for abortion services with their own funding. Research shows that by limiting access to care, this policy has previously led to a 14 percent decrease in contraceptive use, 12 percent increase in pregnancies, and 40 percent increase in abortion rates. She is a cosponsor of H.R. 1055, the Global HER Act, which would permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule.

Congresswoman Speier strongly opposes the Trump Administration’s unilateral cuts to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), which works in more than 150 countries to end preventable maternal deaths, provide voluntary family planning, combat gender-based violence such as child marriage, and train health care workers. Speier led a letter with 145 of her colleagues urging the Administration to reverse its decision to withhold U.S. funding.

Congresswoman Speier also supports efforts to educate girls worldwide, eradicate gender-based violence, promote women’s participation in peace and security efforts, and ensure their access to jobs and an economic marketplace free from discrimination.

Reducing the Threat of WMD

Congresswoman Speier thinks that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) including chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons remains a persistent issue. As a member of the Strategic Forces subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, the Congresswoman thinks that the safety and security of the U.S. nuclear arsenal must remain a chief priority of our strategic forces. In 2017, she demanded greater transparency from the Department of Defense Inspector General on the safety of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Congresswoman Speier was also an ardent supporter of President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, which severely limited Iran’s nuclear activities. She thinks that the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the deal will make future nonproliferation deals harder to achieve. Congresswoman Speier also thinks that we must work with our allies to ensure that nation state adversaries and violent extremist groups are not able to threaten others by enforcing international treaties.

Support for Armenia’s Democracy

As a proud Armenian American, Congresswoman Speier is committed to close U.S.-Armenia cooperation, especially in light of recent democratic developments in Armenia. As a Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, Congresswoman Speier regularly works with Armenian American groups, the State Department and USAID, and the Armenian government to advance the U.S.-Armenia relationship, U.S. democracy assistance for Armenia, and bring our countries closer together. This work recently led to the House approving $40 million in additional democracy aid for Armenia. Congresswoman Speier has travelled to Armenia to help build ties between our people and demonstrate continued American support. She also supported measures to make economic cooperation between the two countries easier, including the establishment of direct flights between California and Yerevan, Armenia.

Eliminating the Dangerous Legacies of War

The security of conventional weapons is also an issue Congresswoman Speier has worked to rally support for from her congressional colleagues. In 2018, she formed the bipartisan Congressional Unexploded Ordnance/Demining Caucus. The caucus membership continues to grow as Members of Congress and their staff learn about the devastating impact these harmful legacies of war have on civilian populations and how they prevent post-conflict economic and social development.

Congresswoman Speier led a successful effort to secure funding in the FY 2020 House-passed appropriations bill for humanitarian demining assistance. She also ensured that unclassified Department of Defense demining research would be shared with humanitarian demining organizations. And Congresswoman Speier has worked to hold the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) leadership accountable for promises made to Congress on demining efforts in Nagorno Karabakh, Armenia.

Safeguarding International Human Rights

The protection of human rights is one of the most important values we have as a free society. In 2019, Congresswoman Speier introduced a resolution condemning the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and demanding a reevaluation of the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia from the Secretary of State in response to reports of numerous violations of the human rights of Saudi activists.

Outside of Saudi Arabia, Congresswoman Speier has regularly called on the Trump Administration to prioritize human rights over flawed security relationships in Latin America and Southeast Asia. In September 2017, as co-chair of the Ahmadiyya Caucus, Congresswoman Speier worked to increase awareness of the human rights abuses perpetrated against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, specifically urging Aung San Suu Kyi to address the crisis. She also supports assistance programs that help partner nations build accountable, transparent governance structures.

Protecting Defense Innovation and Supply Chains

Keeping America safe also means ensuring the security of our defense industrial supply chain. Congresswoman Speier believes that American innovation must not be subject to foreign acts of espionage or sabotage, especially when those technological advances protect our troops and our citizens. Congresswoman Speier co-sponsored the Protecting NATO Skies Act of 2019 to prevent the delivery of F-35s to Turkey after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to purchase and deploy Russian S-400 air defense systems. The exposure of costly U.S. and allied technology to adversary RADAR systems is dangerous and wasteful and Congresswoman Speier will continue to work to prevent the delivery of these weapons of war to Turkey.

More on Defense & Foreign Policy