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Steve Austria on Foreign Policy

 


Voted NO on supporting democratic institutions in Pakistan.

Congressional Summary:Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement Act (PEACE Act): Authorizes the President to provide assistance for Pakistan to support democratic institutions; economic development; human rights; health care; and public diplomacy.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. IKE SKELTON (D, MO-4): Pakistan is important to the Middle East and our intentions there. Their cooperation, of course, is so very, very important. This legislation gives economic and democratic development assistance to that country.

Rep. HOWARD BERMAN (D, CA-28): We can't allow al Qaeda or any other terrorist group that threatens our national security to operate with impunity in the tribal regions or any other part of Pakistan. Nor can we permit the Pakistani state and its nuclear arsenal to be taken over by the Taliban. To help prevent this nightmare scenario, we need to forge a true strategic partnership with Pakistan and its people, strengthen Pakistan's democrat government, and work to make Pakistan a source of stability in a volatile region.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN (R, FL-18): This bill focuses on past actions and failures attributed to the Pakistani Government, punishing the new leadership for the sins of its predecessors. While the authors of H.R. 1886 may have sought to empower our Pakistani partners to undertake the formidable task of fighting and winning against violent extremists, it does the opposite. We have gone down this road before. I recall during the Iraq debate, Members sought to prejudge the surge strategy before it could even be implemented. Let us hope that this will not be repeated with respect to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Reference: The PEACE Act; Bill H.R.1886 ; vote number 2009-H333 on Jun 11, 2009

Withhold UN funding until voluntary and program-specific.

Austria signed United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act

The Congress makes the following findings:
  1. The US pays billions of dollars into the UN system every year (almost $7.7 billion in 2010), significantly more than any other nation.
  2. The UN system suffers from unacceptably high levels of waste, fraud, and abuse, which seriously impair its ability to fulfill the lofty ideals of its founding.
  3. Amidst the continuing financial, corruption, and sexual abuse scandals of the past several years, American public disapproval of United Nations has reached all-time highs: 62% of Americans believe that the UN is doing a poor job
  4. Significant improvements in UN transparency and accountability are necessary for improving public perceptions of and American support for UN operations.
    Source: H.R.2829 11-HR2829 on Aug 30, 2011

    Rated -3 by AAI, indicating a anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record.

    Austria scores -3 by AAI on Arab-Israeli issues

    The Arab American Institute has compiled a Scorecard to catalogue the voting record of the 112th Congress on issues of importance to the Arab American community. For the House, we included 15 items: two bills on the Arab Spring, five bills and one letter on Palestine, two bills on Lebanon, three bills and a letter regarding civil liberties, and two bills on immigration.

    1. H.Res. 88 (+): supporting democratic aspirations in Egypt
    2. H.R. 2643 (+): penalizing the Bahraini government for attacking medical personnel
    3. H.R. 1006 (-): the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act
    4. H.R. 1501 (-): withholding US contributions until the UN retracts accusations of Israeli war crimes.
    5. H.Res. 268 (-): opposing any unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state
    6. H.R. 2457 (-): prohibiting any US government document from referring to "Palestine"
    7. H.R. 2829 (-): defunding the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. The bill's 141 co-sponsors receive a (-).
    8. 8. (+). Rep. David Price (D-NC) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) issued a letter titled "Support Palestinian Aid and Israel's Security," in which they call upon Congress to continue aid to the Palestinian Authority.
    9. H.R. 2215 (*) "to ensure that United States taxpayer dollars are not used to fund terrorist entities in Lebanon
    10. H.R. 996 (+): to raise awareness of the use of cluster munitions where civilians are present
    11. H.R. 140 (-): the "Birthright Citizenship Act, to eliminate "anchor babies" by changing the 14th Amendment.
    12. H. Res. 283 (+): to counter violence and discrimination against Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian communities
    13. H.R. 1805 (-): authorizing an extension of the USA PATRIOT Act until 2013, and amending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)
    14. H.R. 1842 (+): the DREAM Act to protect undocumented minors pursuing higher education.
    15. H.R. 1932 (-): the Keep our Communities Safe Act for greater power to detain undocumented immigrants.
    Source: AAI website 12-AAI-H on May 2, 2012

    Commitment to unbreakable U.S.-Israel bond.

    Austria signed Hoyer-Cantor letter to Secy. Clinton from 327 House members

    Dear Secretary Clinton:

    We are writing to reaffirm our commitment to the unbreakable bond that exists between our country and the State of Israel and to express to you our deep concern over recent tension. In every important relationship, there will be occasional misunderstandings and conflicts.

    Our valuable bilateral relationship with Israel needs and deserves constant reinforcement. As the Vice-President said during his recent visit to Israel: "Progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the U.S. and Israel when it comes to security, none. No space." Steadfast American backing has helped lead to Israeli peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. And American involvement continues to be critical to the effort to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

    We recognize that, despite the extraordinary closeness between our country and Israel, there will be differences over issues both large and small. Our view is that such differences are best resolved quietly, in trust and confidence, as befits longstanding strategic allies. We hope and expect that, with mutual effort and good faith, the United States and Israel will move beyond this disruption quickly, to the lasting benefit of both nations.

    Source: Hoyer-Cantor letter to Secy. Clinton from 327 House members 2010-LT-UB on Mar 25, 2010

    2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Foreign Policy: Steve Austria on other issues:
    OH Gubernatorial:
    John Kasich
    OH Senatorial:
    Josh Mandel
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    Rob Portman
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    Retiring to run for other office:

    Running for President:
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    Running for Mayor:
    CA-51:Bob Filner(D)

    Running for Governor:
    IN-6:Mike Pence(R)
    WA-1:Jay Inslee(D)

    Running for Senate:
    AZ-6:Jeff Flake(R)
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    FL-14:Connie Mack(R)
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    IN-2:Joe Donnelly(D)
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    Lost Primary 2012:
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    PA-4:Jason Altmire(D)
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    TX-16:Silvestre Reyes(D)

    Retiring 2012:
    AR-4:Mike Ross(D)
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    Page last updated: Jun 12, 2012