While much of the power to conduct foreign affairs is granted to the president by the U.S. Constitution, Congress can and should still shape foreign policy and play a vital role in ensuring the world remains a safe place and that our citizens are protected from harm.
For example, Congress maintains control over the “purse strings” and funds our national defense and foreign assistance. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand how foreign assistance is used to support American values all over the world. On average, only about one percent of foreign aid is provided as direct budget support to foreign governments. In fact, most aid is given in the form of expert technical advice, training, equipment, vaccines, food, educational exchanges and applied research. Much of the work done by America and its citizens internationally is crucial to lifting developing countries out of disease and poverty, promoting long-term development and building important relationships.
Additionally, through the appropriations process, Congress can help ensure that funding goes to countries to build stability and counter a variety of international threats, such as terrorism, illegal drugs, and infectious disease. Approximately 1.3 percent of the total federal budget is designated for foreign assistance from all federal sources. Aid that promotes global prosperity, democracy and rule of law, economic growth and humanitarian interests reflects American values and global leadership.
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Over the last few weeks in town hall meetings and other visits across the Fourth District, I’ve heard my constituents voice their concerns about a variety of issues. But by far, the common issue that troubles the vast majority is the proposed nuclear deal negotiated with Iran by the Obama Administration. Like many of my constituents, I am disturbed by what I’ve heard, seen and learned about the agreement. With a vote expected in Congress next month, I remain strongly opposed to approving the deal.
Following two years of negotiations that have included missed and extended deadlines, the P5+1 announced this month that a deal with Iran has been reached regarding its nuclear program. This deal comes at the insistence of the legacy-starved Obama Administration that has already taken dangerous missteps in its foreign policy. I remain very concerned about the concessions made to Iran in the deal and the implications for the safety and security of America and our allies, including our greatest friend in the region: Israel.
NewsOK - Chris Casteel
Members of Oklahoma’s all-Republican congressional delegation voiced skepticism and concern Tuesday about the nuclear deal struck by the Obama administration and other countries with Iran.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa
“The president’s deal with Iran failed to meet the only standard that ensures the future safety of America and its allies, which is the complete dismantling of Iran’s capability to build a nuclear bomb.
Chickasha News - Adam Troxtell
Oklahoma congressional representatives have greeted a new agreement between the U.S. and Iran over its nuclear program with skepticism.
Both Rep. Tom Cole and Sen. James Lankford issued statements, saying they were wary about the deal with Iran that was announced Tuesday and even condemned parts of it. They said Congress should take time reviewing the deal to ensure it is truly in the nation's best interest.
The Oklahoman - Editorial Board
President Barack Obama said last week, on the day a deadline passed to reach an agreement with Iran on nuclear weapons, that, “I will walk away from the negotiations if in fact it’s a bad deal.” If only he truly meant that.
Instead, Obama has given the impression that he wants to reach a deal — any deal — with Iran, despite the country’s bad acts and its mullahs’ long history of saying one thing and doing another.
Iran is a rogue state and very unlikely to be a dependable, reliable or honest negotiating partner. Over the last several months, all eyes have focused on the international negotiations to decide the nature of Iran’s nuclear capabilities. At the insistence of the Administration and despite warnings from our allies in the Middle East, these nuclear talks are expected to result in a deal that lifts sanctions and allows Iran to maintain much of its ability to enrich uranium. That means Iran would be only a few short steps away from creating a nuclear weapon whenever it chose to do so.
The increasing boldness that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) continues to display makes it abundantly clear that the president has badly underestimated its resolve to wage jihad against our allies in the Middle East and, eventually, the United States. Considering that the terrorist group has already been responsible for killing Americans and attacking a number of our allies, it should be clearly evident that the United States cannot ignore the escalating conflict.