In the mid-1960s, Susan had the rare opportunity to live on a kibbutz in Israel and has returned to the region several times since. While there are still many obstacles to a lasting peace, Susan is united with Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians in our collective hope for peace and justice in the region.
Susan continues to believe that strong U.S. leadership and support is the best plan for bringing about a political process that can eventually pave the way for security and peace for the region. Susan recognizes that a two-state solution is the only realistic pathway to peace and that all sides must come to the table determined to not allow fringe and extremist elements to use violence and intimidation to derail negotiations.
As coalition forces draw down in Afghanistan, Susan is focused on providing resources to minimize the risk to our troops and to protect the accomplishments our service men and women have made over the last ten years.
A key factor for a stable Afghanistan is the empowerment of women and girls in Afghan culture. On annual visits to Afghanistan, Susan has met with U.S. servicewomen and men, female members of the Afghan National Army, the Afghan Parliament, and national leaders. She has been inspired by her meetings with young girls just trying to attain an education. So many of the freedoms these women experience today would not have been possible without coalition involvement, and Susan believes it is our duty to preserve these advancements, even as we continue to draw down.
In her position on the House Armed Services Committee, Susan made certain federal funds for the Afghan government contingent on the Department of Defense and the State Department ability to certify that Afghan women have a role in the country’s future. She has also been instrumental in ensuring that nearly $50 million of the funding authorized for the Afghan Security Forces Fund goes toward the recruitment, integration, retention, training, and treatment of women in Afghan Security Forces.
Susan was proud to host the girls Afghan Robotics Team on Capitol Hill. The Team had a reception held in their honor in the Capitol, met with members of Congress, and went to the House floor to watch it in action.
Susan recognizes the importance of a strong relationship with Mexico. The San Diego region is a bi-national economic zone, generating billions of dollars in economic activity. Susan continues to work with local officials on both sides of the border to strengthen the relationship of both countries.
Border infrastructure is key to improving the economic relationship. It is estimated that $7.2 billion is lost from delays and inefficiency at the border. Susan has worked to bring federal funding home for a joint U.S.-Mexico project to double the lanes at the San Ysidro border crossing and build a new pedestrian bridge.
The United States’ relationship with China remains one of our most important yet complex foreign policy challenges. With a population of over 1.3 billion and the second largest economy in the world, China is poised to become a world power, economically, diplomatically, and militarily.
In recent years, Susan has traveled to China to better understand the opportunities and challenges that have resulted from their economic development. She is focused on addressing some of the biggest challenges that confront the US-China relationship, including intellectual property, the current trade deficit, and currency manipulation. Susan is working closely with her colleagues on the US-China Working Group to bring about legislative action and positive change on these important issues.
As a member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, Susan remains very concerned about human rights violations in China as well. Between allegations of abuse against members of the Falun Gong or China’s economic relationship with the government of Sudan, Congress must continue to exert pressure on China to reform their human rights practices.