Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act of 2018

Floor Speech

By: Ted Poe
By: Ted Poe
Date: Nov. 27, 2018
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Defense


Mr. POE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I want to express my strong support for this legislation of which I am an original cosponsor. I was proud to work alongside Ranking Member Engel, Mr. Adam Smith, Mr. McCaul, and Representative Keating on this legislation.

Around the globe today, Mr. Speaker, fractured nations are struggling with conflict, violence, and a range of other challenges that degrade security and prevent their internal development.

Weak states and ungoverned places anywhere in the world provide opportunities for terrorism and instability to flourish. As a result, these fragile states become national security concerns for our country.

Mr. Speaker, we need to solve problems in a smarter way so we don't have to constantly deploy America's sons and daughters into harm's way to fight more foreign wars. The United States has been at war consistently for over 17 straight years. Maybe it is time we rethink our philosophy of constant military involvement throughout the globe as a first response to turmoil and unrest.

We need to address the underlying root causes of instability: treat the disease, not just the symptoms. That is what this bill will do. It will require the development of a whole-of-government approach to targeting root causes of instability and conflict in the world's most fragile regions before they require military interventions by the United States.

Instead of parallel efforts that often respond to conflict with short-term solutions, this bill will require long-term, coordinated strategies that make our foreign assistance dollars more effective. It will allow Congress to have more oversight of those foreign aid dollars. The money we spend abroad must be designed to solve problems, not endlessly consume resources by military conflict.

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Ranking Member Engel for his leadership on this critical issue. I do urge my colleagues to support this legislation.

I also want to take a moment to thank Ranking Member Engel for his friendship and support and his work on the Foreign Affairs Committee since I have been on the committee. I also want to thank Chairman Royce, who will also be leaving Congress at the end of this session, for his work.

As we have said numerous times, if more committees would work in a bipartisan way to solve a specific goal--the long-term interests of the United States being that goal--I think things would be better here in the House. But I want to thank both of these Members for their relationship with me and for working so hard to help America solve these international problems in a bipartisan way.

And that is just the way it is.