Foreign Affairs

As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I am a vocal advocate for the ideals of freedom, security and prosperity around the globe.  In particular, as a member of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, I am concerned with the rising tide of socialist and communist movements in Latin America and the role of Hugo Chavez in destabilizing the region.

Some of my work in the following regions includes:

VENEZUELA: Ever since I came to Congress, I have been an outspoken critic of President Hugo Chavez and his socialist, anti-American agenda in Venezuela.  Since he came to power in Venezuela in 1999, Chavez has systematically destroyed his country's democratic institutions, quashed individual freedoms, and nationalized key industries like oil and agriculture.  He has launched a massive military buildup, forged dangerous alliances with rogue nations like Iran, Syria and Cuba, and has actually supported terrorist organizations like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

For more than three years now, I have worked with my colleagues to urge the Administration to take real action to stop Chavez's dangerous actions and convince the Venezuelan people that United States stands with them in their quest for freedom. 

Some of those actions include:

** Sponsor of legislation (H.Res.1049) that calls on the Administration to add Venezuela to the state sponsors of terrorism list for its support of and ties to the internationally-recognized terrorist organization Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

** Sponsor of a bipartisan resolution (H.Res.435), with Rep. Ron Klein (FL-22), that expresses the House of Representatives' growing concerns over the national security implications of Iran's growing relationships in Latin America.  This resolution passed the House in 2007. 

** Sponsor of an amendment to the fiscal year 2007 and fiscal year 2008 Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill that would grant the Broadcasting Board of Governors the tools to increase broadcasting to Venezuela and Latin America as a way to provide an accurate and comprehensive alternative source of news to the people of Venezuela.  The amendment passed in June 2007 by a voice vote.

CUBA: For nearly 50 years, the people of Cuba have been systematically persecuted and denied the basic tenets of liberty.  The U.S. must continue to stand up for the people of Cuba against their oppressive government, and be ready to help restore freedom and free markets once Cuba's totalitarian regime comes to an end.

IRAN: An undisputed state sponsor of terrorism, Iran is working aggressively to gain a strategic foothold in the Western Hemisphere.  Iran has succeeded in many respects as a result of the close friendships between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.  That's why I sponsored a resolution (H.Res. 435) with Rep. Ron Klein (FL-22), which passed the House in 2007, calling on the U.S. government to work with countries in the Western Hemisphere to combat terrorism and Hezbollah's growing influence in Latin America.  I have also written to the State Department about this dangerous alliance on several occasions.

In addition, I am a cosponsor of the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act, which would close loopholes in existing laws that prohibit U.S. companies and their foreign subsidiaries from investing in Iran's energy sector. It would also increase funding for U.S. agencies working to isolate Iran from the international banking system, which would make it more difficult for Iran to do business with global partners.

FREE TRADE:  I am a strong supporter of free trade agreements, which help create jobs and grow our economy.  Congress recently passed free trade agreements with Peru and the Andean region, but has yet to pass an agreement with Panama or Colombia, some of our strongest allies in Latin America.  A free trade agreement with Colombia will level the playing field for American companies and help to strengthen the economic and political stability of Latin America.

ISRAEL: I had an opportunity to visit Israel as a teenager and saw firsthand the daily threats of death and destruction.  But I also had an opportunity to witness the strength and determination of a people living in a country surrounded by enemies sworn to their annihilation.  Israel is one of our staunchest allies in the war on terror, and the cooperation between the United States and Israel in defense technology and intelligence is essential to winning the war on terrorism and ensuring peace in the Middle East.  To that end, I've supported a number of resolutions that express the House of Representatives' support for our ally in the Middle East, such as resolutions condemning attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians by Hezbollah and Hamas.

Office Locations

  • Washington, D.C.

    115 Cannon House
    Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20515
    Phone: 202-225-2536
    Fax: 202-226-0439
  • Cape Coral, FL

    804 Nicholas Parkway E.
    Suite 1
    Cape Coral, FL 33990
    Phone: 239-573-5837
    Fax: 239-573-9125
  • Naples, FL

    3299 Tamiami Trail East
    Suite 105
    Naples, FL 34112
    Phone: 239-252-MACK (6225)
    Fax: 239-252-8065
Office Locations Map