Congressman Connolly is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and previously spent 10 years as a staff member working on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He believes that while a strong military is a vital tool in our security toolbox, we cannot ignore the increasingly important role diplomacy and development play in meeting our most pressing security challenges and demonstrating American leadership in global affairs.
Our diplomacy and development efforts are complementary to U.S. military operations. As has been the lesson in Iraq, Afghanistan, and countless other interventions, a permanent U.S. military footprint is rarely a tenable proposal for the American public. Instead, we almost always turn to development investments as the solution to making stagnant societies mired in violence into more stable and resilient countries. And when we fail to make those investments, we are often left conducting triage when the bills come due for our neglected international funding priorities.
U.S. foreign assistance programs work to end extreme poverty and build democratic societies abroad. These efforts are fundamental safeguards against the development of instability and security threats overseas. Congressman Connolly introduced and passed the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act, which directs the President to establish monitoring and evaluation guidelines for U.S. development and economic assistance programs. He has also introduced the Global Partnerships Act, which would provide a comprehensive reauthorization of U.S. foreign aid programs for the first time since 1985.
Serious, credible, and ambitious diplomacy can direct immense amounts of energy at the world's most intractable challenges, and development investments have proven capable of unleashing economic growth and promoting stability. Together, diplomacy and development do keep us safe, and Congressman Connolly believes we should fund them in a manner commensurate with the premium we place on our national security.
Congressman Connolly holds several foreign policy-related leadership positions in the House of Representatives. He serves as a co-chair of the Korea Caucus, Georgia Caucus, Morocco Caucus, Taiwan Caucus, the Congressional Study Group on Turkey, and the Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans. He is also a former Acting Head and current member of the U.S. delegation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) where he serves as the Rapporteur for the Political Committee's Subcommittee on Transatlantic Relations.