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.
Voted YES on cooperating with India as a nuclear power.
Congressional Summary:US-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act:
Approves the US-India Agreement for Cooperation on Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.
Declares that it is US policy to prevent the transfer to India of nuclear equipment, materials, or technology from other participating governments in the Nuclear Suppliers Group or from any other source; and
any nuclear power reactor fuel reserve provided to India for use in safeguarded civilian nuclear facilities should be commensurate with reasonable reactor operating requirements.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. HOWARD BERMAN (D, CA-28): Integrating India into a global nonproliferation regime is a positive step. Before anyone gets too sanctimonious about India's nuclear weapons program, we should acknowledge that the five recognized nuclear weapons states have not done nearly enough to fulfill their commitments under the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty, including making serious reductions in their own arsenals, nor in the case of the US in ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. BARBARA LEE (D, CA-9): In withholding my approval, I seek not to penalize the people of India but, rather, to affirm the principle of nuclear nonproliferation. Jettisoning adherence to the international nuclear nonproliferation framework that has served the world so well for more than 30 years, as approval of the agreement before us would do, is just simply unwise. It is also reckless.
Approval of this agreement undermines our efforts to dissuade countries like Iran and North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. By approving this agreement, all we are doing is creating incentives for other countries to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Reference: US-India Nuclear Agreement;
; vote number 2008-H662
on Sep 27, 2008
Voted NO on deterring foreign arms transfers to China.
To authorize measures to deter arms transfers by foreign countries to the People's Republic of China, A YES vote would grant the President the ability to place sanctions on any individual or country that violates the arms embargo, including:
Denial of participation in cooperative research and development
Prohibition of ownership and control of any business registered as a manufacturer or exporter of defense articles or services
Removal of all licenses relative to dual-use goods or technology
Prohibition of participation of any foreign military sales
Reference: East Asia Security Act;
Bill HR 3100
; vote number 2005-374
on Jul 14, 2005
Voted YES on reforming the UN by restricting US funding.
To reform the United Nations, by limiting the US contribution to the UN by up to one-half by the year 2007, if the following reforms are not made:
Requires the creation of an Independent Oversight Board with the authority to evaluate all operations of the UN
Instructs the UN to implement procedures to protect whistle-blowers, individuals who reveal wrongdoings within an organization to the public or to those in positions of authority
Obliges the creation of a uniform code of conduct for all UN officials
Requires the shifting of the funding mechanisms of certain organizational programs from the regular assessed UN budget to voluntarily funded programs
Compels the US President to influence the Secretary General of the UN to waive diplomatic immunity for UN officials under investigation or charged with serious criminal offences
Creates a certification of UN cooperation to provide documentary evidence to member states investigating the Oil-for-Food program
Reference: United Nations Reform Act;
Bill HR 2745
; vote number 2005-282
on Jun 17, 2005
Voted YES on keeping Cuba travel ban until political prisoners released.
Stop enforcing travel restrictions on US citizens to Cuba, only after the president has certified that Cuba has released all political prisoners, and extradited all individuals sought by the US on charges of air piracy, drug trafficking and murder.
Voted NO on withholding $244M in UN Back Payments until US seat restored.
Vote to adopt an amendment that would require that the United States be restored to its seat on the UN Human Rights Commission before the payment of $244 million in funds already designated to pay UN back dues.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Hyde, R-IL;
Bill HR 1646
; vote number 2001-107
on May 10, 2001
Voted NO on $156M to IMF for 3rd-world debt reduction.
Vote on an amendment that would transfer $156 million from foreign military financing to the Highly Indebted Poor Countries [HIPC] Trust Fund. The HIPC Trust fund is designed to help debtor countries pay off the money they owe to multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Waters, D-CA;
Bill HR 4811
; vote number 2000-397
on Jul 13, 2000
Voted YES on Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China.
Vote to give permanent Normal Trade Relations [NTR] status to China. Currently, NTR status for China is debated and voted on annually. The measure contains provisions designed to protect the United States from Chinese import surges and the administration would have to report annually on China's compliance with the trade agreement. The bill establishes a commission to monitor human rights, labor standards and religious freedom in China.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Archer, R-TX;
Bill HR 4444
; vote number 2000-228
on May 24, 2000
Voted YES on $15.2 billion for foreign operations.
Vote on a bill to provide $15.2 billion for foreign operations in FY 2000. Among other provisions, the bill would provide $1.82 billion over three years for implementation of the Wye River peace accord in the Middle East. In addition, the measure would provide $123 million in multilateral debt relief and would contribute $25 million to the United National Population Fund.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Callahan, R-AL;
Bill HR 3196
; vote number 1999-572
on Nov 5, 1999
Member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.
Biggert is a member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus
The Congressional Human Rights Caucus (CHRC) is a bipartisan group of Members of Congress in the United States House of Representatives that works to raise awareness about and combat human rights abuses throughout the world.
The caucus keeps members and their staff informed of opportunities to help through briefings on human rights topics and letter initiatives.
Source: Congressional Caucus Web site 01-CHRC0 on Jan 8, 2001
Member of the Silk Road Congressional Caucus.
Biggert is a member the Silk Road Congressional Caucus
The Silk Road refers to the ancient trade route through Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan first explored by Marco Polo. The hope for the Silk Road Caucus is to help connect Central and South Asia and the Caucasus with the US, in an effort to encourage economic, cultural, and political exchange between our countries.
Why should Congress be interested in today's Silk Road?
Silk Road countries desire a deeper engagement with the US.
China and Russia have recently begun to project influence into the Silk Road region, in some cases at the expense of US interests.
Silk Road petroleum reserves have the potential of expanding world supply, resulting in better prices for U.S. consumers.
Some Silk Road nations possess weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. involvement is critical to curtailing WMD proliferation.
Extremist Islamic fundamentalism is attempting to disrupt and dominate politics in the region.
Countries of the Silk Road are seeking a well-conceived and proactive policy of engagement, which authorizes U.S. assistance to support their economic and political independence. After decades of Communist rule, these countries have faced a tough road toward economic development and prosperity, and the cultivation of a democratic society. It is important for Congress to provide and guide increased aid to support conflict resolution, humanitarian relief, economic and democratic reform, and respect for human rights in the region.
It is clear that the U.S. can no longer abide by its current policy toward the region--one that emphasizes a stand back and watch approach. Economic prosperity, the growth of democracy, and the establishment of the rule of law in the Silk Road states is essential for regional stability and US national security. The US must actively engage this region--both economically and politically.
Source: Silk Road Caucus website 07-SRC0 on Nov 6, 2007
Rated -2 by AAI, indicating a anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record.
Biggert scores -2 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.
H.Res. 88 (+): supporting democratic aspirations in Egypt
H.R. 2643 (+): penalizing the Bahraini government for attacking medical personnel
H.R. 1006 (-): the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act
H.R. 1501 (-): withholding US contributions until the UN retracts accusations of Israeli war crimes.
H.Res. 268 (-): opposing any unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state
H.R. 2457 (-): prohibiting any US government document from referring to "Palestine"
H.R. 2829 (-): defunding the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. The bill's 141 co-sponsors receive a (-).
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.
H.R. 2215 (*) "to ensure that United States taxpayer dollars are not used to fund terrorist entities in Lebanon
H.R. 996 (+): to raise awareness of the use of cluster munitions where civilians are present
H.R. 140 (-): the "Birthright Citizenship Act, to eliminate "anchor babies" by changing the 14th Amendment.
H. Res. 283 (+): to counter violence and discrimination against Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian communities
H.R. 1805 (-): authorizing an extension of the USA PATRIOT Act until 2013, and amending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)
H.R. 1842 (+): the DREAM Act to protect undocumented minors pursuing higher education.
H.R. 1932 (-): the Keep our Communities Safe Act for greater power to detain undocumented immigrants.
Prohibits the President from regulating or prohibiting travel to or from Cuba by U.S. citizens or legal residents or any of the transactions ordinarily incident to such travel, except in time of war or armed hostilities between the United States and Cuba, or of imminent danger to the public health or the physical safety of U.S. travelers.
Afghan laws violate women's human rights on sex & divorce.
Biggert signed Shi'ite Personal Status Law
CONCURRENT RESOLUTION: Expressing the sense of Congress that the Shi'ite Personal Status Law in Afghanistan violates the fundamental human rights of women and should be repealed.
Whereas in March 2009, the Shi'ite Personal Status Law was approved by the parliament of Afghanistan and signed by President Hamid Karzai;
Whereas according to the United Nations, the law legalizes marital rape by mandating that a wife cannot refuse sex to her husband unless she is ill;
Whereas the law also weakens mothers' rights in the event of a divorce and prohibits a woman from leaving her home unless her husband determines it is for a 'legitimate purpose';
Whereas President Barack Obama has called the law 'abhorrent' and stated that 'there are certain basic principles that all nations should uphold, and respect for women and respect for their freedom and integrity is an important principle';
Whereas Afghanistan acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, entered into force September 3, 1981 (CEDAW), which condemns discrimination against women in all its forms and reaffirms the equal rights and responsibilities of men and women during marriage and at its dissolution;
Whereas the provisions in the Shi'ite Personal Status Law that restrict women's rights are diametrically opposed to those goals:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved that Congress--
urges the Government of Afghanistan and President Hamid Karzai to declare the provisions of the Shi'ite Personal Status Law on marital rape and restrictions on women's freedom of movement unconstitutional;
encourages the Government of Afghanistan to solicit information and advice from governmental and women-led nongovernmental organizations to ensure that legislation uphold the equal rights of women.
Condemn Iran for state-sponsored persecution of Baha'i.
Biggert signed bill condemning Iran for persecution of Baha'i
A resolution condemning the Government of Iran for its state-sponsored persecution of the Baha'i minority in Iran and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights.
Whereas since 1982, Congress declared that it deplored the religious persecution by the Government of Iran of the Baha'i community and would hold the Government of Iran responsible for upholding the rights of all Iranian nationals, including members of the Baha'i faith;
Whereas in November 2007, the Iranian Ministry of Information in Shiraz jailed three Baha'is for educating underprivileged children and gave them 4-year prison terms, which they are serving;
Whereas they were targeted solely on the basis of their religion;
Whereas, on January 23, 2008, the US Department of State released a statement urging the Iranian regime to release all individuals held without due process and a fair trial, including the 3 young Baha'is being held;
Whereas in March 2008,
Iranian intelligence officials arrested and imprisoned seven members of the coordinating group for the Baha'i community in Iran, on charges of 'espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic';Whereas these seven Baha'i leaders were targeted solely on the basis of their religion; and
Whereas the Government of Iran is party to the International Covenants on Human Rights:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate and House of Representatives
condemns the Government of Iran for its state-sponsored persecution of its Baha'i minority and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights;
calls on the Government of Iran to immediately release the seven leaders and all other prisoners held solely on account of their religion; and
calls on the President and Secretary of State, in cooperation with the international community, to immediately condemn Iran's continued violation of human rights.
Biggert 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