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Foreign Policy

Congressmember Karen Bass is honored to serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee as Chair on the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Human Rights, and International Organizations.

Congressmember Bass firmly believes that a strong U.S. foreign policy is rooted in three important and fundamental pillars: diplomacy, development, and defense. These pillars provide the basis for our nation’s ability to wisely and effectively leverage U.S. resources to address global challenges including food insecurity, the burden of endemic and epidemic disease and, war and conflict from around the world.

U.S.-led economic development and trade promotion activities help expand markets and ensure greater peace and stability in foreign nations and importantly empower individuals and communities through job creation and opportunities for underrepresented populations including women and girls. U.S. foreign engagement has created jobs and employment opportunities not only overseas but here in the United States. As our government seeks opportunities to engage the U.S. private sector in business opportunities abroad, we do so knowing that both public and private sectors have important roles to play in a most justice, stable and peaceful world.

Learn more about Congressmember Bass's work on U.S.-Africa Policy.

More on Foreign Policy

January 15, 2021 Press Release

“I call on the Government of Uganda to let all votes be counted without interference. Election observers are impartial to the electoral process and should not be harassed nor arrested for doing their job, and I urge President Museveni to immediately investigate the arrest of any Ugandan election observers. There have also been reports that the government has shut down many forms of communication throughout this electoral process to silence citizens, including blocking social media apps and imposing an indefinite internet blackout. This is a clear violation of their human rights.

December 14, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON - Today, Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, issued the following statement regarding the abduction of over 300 students in northern Nigeria.

“I am deeply concerned about the recent abduction of more than 300 students in Katsina State in northern Nigeria.  I urge the Government of Nigeria to investigate this matter, bring these attackers to justice, and for the attackers to release the boys and return them safely to their families.”

December 9, 2020 Press Release

This legislation establishes a senior-level office of the Chief Diversity Officer to advocate for diversity within the Department, changes promotion and other practices to improve retention and equity, and includes Reps. Castro’s and Titus’ Promotion Accessibility Act, which codifies the practice of allowing diplomats with disabilities include “gap memos” to explain gaps in their service as a result of medical treatment.

November 23, 2020 Press Release

“To know Linda is to know an incredibly smart, caring, and insightful diplomat dedicated to bettering this country and the relationships our country has with others throughout the world.  

November 10, 2020 Press Release

“Our offices have been alerted that African asylum-seekers from Cameroon and other African countries, many of whom were allegedly improperly coerced by ICE to sign voluntary deportation orders, will be deported as early as tomorrow morning. Upon their arrival to their designated countries, many will be at imminent risk of death. Their deportation should be put on hold until the new administration is sworn in and able to carefully review these claims. Anything otherwise is outrageous and unacceptable. We plan to introduce a measure this week to condemn this deportation should it take place.

October 27, 2020 Press Release

“I am deeply concerned for the safety of the American citizen who has been kidnapped in Niger. The safety of American citizens abroad is one of our top priorities and I urge the Government of Niger to do all that they can to work toward returning him to safety. The Sahel region has been grappling with increased violence over the past years. The United States must continue to support our African partners as they beat back rising insecurity and attack the root causes of attacks in the area. United States support is critical to ensure we keep those working in the region safe.”

October 9, 2020 Press Release

“Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed spearheaded significant and commendable reform measures following his selection in April 2018, including releasing thousands of political prisoners, inviting exiled political opposition back to Ethiopia, negotiating a peace agreement with Eritrea, lifting bans on over 200 websites and improving media freedom.

October 6, 2020 Press Release

“This resolution marks an important step toward strengthening our supply chains in the Western Hemisphere and confronting a rising China,” said Congressman Sires. “This legislation makes clear that there is bipartisan opposition to including textile, apparel, and footwear products in the Generalized System of Preferences, as this would be a big win for China and would send jobs out of the United States, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

September 18, 2020 Press Release

“I am concerned about reports indicating restrictions of freedom of expression, association and assembly in Tanzania ahead of a possibly contentious election next month,” said Rep. Bass. “We must support Tanzanian people, especially right before an election. I urge the Government of Tanzania to allow citizens, civil society organizations political parties to express their views freely without fear and to safeguard press freedoms.

September 3, 2020 Press Release

"This week, Paul Rusesabagina appeared in Rwanda in handcuffs facing terror-related charges. According to reports, a spokesman for the Rwanda Investigation Bureau would not go into details about how and where Mr. Rusesabagina was apprehended, saying that he has to answer "charges of serious crime.” My office is monitoring this situation very closely. I urge the Rwandan government to follow an open and transparent process and treat Mr. Rusesabagina respectfully. If there’s evidence, show it. If there’s not, release him."