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Congressman Brad Schneider

Representing the 10th District of Illinois

National Security

Over the course of the last 25 years, the world has evolved beyond a Cold War mentality, and U.S. foreign policy must adapt to reflect these 21st Century global realities. Our goal in foreign affairs must always be to keep America safe and secure. Gone are the days of major superpowers, replaced instead by an increasingly interconnected global community, and protecting our shores and our allies means crafting a balanced approach and working multilaterally as often as possible.

In this rapidly-changing world, American defense policy must adapt to modern military engagements, and so too, must defense spending. In a world without grand armies meeting on sprawling battlefields, we need a more agile, more specialized military with the latest technologies to keep our troops out of harm’s way. At the same time, we must focus on diplomacy and development, as force is, and always should be, our last resort.

Israel

For the Tenth District and for myself, Israel means more than just America’s greatest ally in the world’s most volatile region; Israel means family and friends. Every year large numbers of our neighbors, friends, children, students and young adults visit Israel.  And many of us have family, friends and co-workers in Israel. 

Israel faces a broad spectrum of threats. A nuclear Iran, a collapsing Syria, uncertainty in Egypt, and more than 60,000 Hezbollah missiles in Lebanon all create unique security challenges. Additionally, increasingly-lethal Hamas and Islamic Jihad rockets in Gaza and Palestinian efforts to delegitimize Israel internationally and to circumvent negotiations with resolutions at the United Nations all contribute to regional unrest 

America’s unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security flows both from our mutual strategic interests and our shared values and aspirations for our children.  As vibrant democracies, we recognize that freedom and liberty are at the core of our national identities and mutual prosperity.  Strategically, the United States and Israel share a disproportionate role in addressing the ominous threats of radical extremism, global terrorism and a nuclear Iran.  A strong U.S.-Israeli relationship is crucial for our efforts to address the rapidly-changing security dynamic in the Middle East and is an instrumental component of our strategy to pursue and achieve real, lasting peace in the region.

I am committed to ensuring that the U.S.-Israeli relationship remains strong, steadfast and secure. As a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs have been, and remain committed to playing a leading role in support of security assistance for the State of Israel. 

Strengthening the U.S.-Israel Partnership

Congressman Schneider has a deep understanding of the unique, existential threats Israel faces. To combat these threats and protect itself in an increasingly unstable and dangerous neighborhood, Israel must maintain its qualitative military edge (QME). Congressman Schneider introduced the Israel QME Enhancement Act to strengthen the U.S.-Israel defense partnership and always ensure Israel remains safe and secure. The Israel QME Enhancement Act passed the House unanimously on December 11, 2013. You can read more about the Israel QME Enhancement Act here. You can watch Congressman Schneider speak in support of the bill here and here. You can also read Congressman Schneider’s joint op-ed with Congressman Doug Collins on the bill here.

In support of the strategic, economic and cultural bond between the U.S. the Israel, Congressman Schneider cosponsored a number of bills to strengthen these ties. Congressman Schneider cosponsored the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, the Iron Dome Support Act and the United States-Israel Missile Defense Cooperation Act. Congressman Schneider also helped introduce the Visa Waiver for Israel Act, which you can read more about here.

Congressman Schneider was part of two delegations to Israel in 2013. On these visits, Congressman Schneider had the chance to discuss Israel’s future and how to strengthen the U.S.-Israel partnership with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro. You can read more about Congressman Schneider’s most recent visit here.

Following his second trip to Israel, Congressman Schneider hosted a conversation with the Chicago global affairs community leaders to discuss the latest on the U.S.-Israel relationship. You can read more about the discussion here.

To celebrate Israel’s 65th anniversary, Congressman Schneider helped introduce a resolution honoring the milestone. You can read Congressman Schneider’s statement marking the date here.

Preventing a Nuclear Iran

Congressman Schneider consistently stresses that U.S. policy toward a nuclear Iran is one of prevention and not containment and has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapons capability.

Congressman Schneider co-authored new, harsher sanctions against Iran and helped introduce the bipartisan Nuclear Iran Prevention Act. In July 2013, the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act passed the House overwhelmingly. Congressman Schneider’s amendment to the bill was successfully included. You can watch Congressman Schneider speak in favor of the bill here. You can read more about the bill here.

Congressman Schneider also offered an amendment to the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act that would strengthen Iran sanctions. The amendment passed the House unanimously. You can read more about Congressman Schneider’s measure here. You can watch Congressman Schneider speak in support of his amendment here.

Congressman Schneider organized the support of 77 fellow bipartisan Freshman Members of Congress to send a letter to President Obama urging him to implement additional sanctions against Iran. You can read more about the letter here. Congressman Schneider also penned an op-ed in support of the letter and additional sanctions against Iran. You can read “A History That Does Not Lie” here

As the P5+1 sat down to begin negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, Congressman Schneider urged caution. Congressman Schneider wrote an op-ed stressing the need for increased sanctions against Iran. You can read his op-ed here. Upon announcement of a temporary deal, known as the Joint Plan of Action, Congressman Schneider released a statement reiterating the U.S. position of “prevention, not containment.” You can read the statement here

Congressman Schneider and Congressman Doug Collins hosted a Special Order conversation on the state and implications of negotiations with Iran. You can watch their conversation here.

Combating Forces of Terror Worldwide

The devastating civil war in Syria carries consequences far beyond its borders and threatens to undermine regional stability. Congressman Schneider and his colleagues on the House Foreign Affairs Committee have been monitoring the situation closely and taken action to blunt its broader effects.

During a hearing on the situation in Syria, Congressman Schneider asked U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford about the future of regional stability. You can watch their exchange here.

Congressman Schneider and his colleagues sent a letter to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki demanding a stop to the illicit flight of arms from Iran to Syria through Iraqi airspace. You can read more about the letter here. Congressman Schneider also joined his colleagues to send a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging caution over the transfer of weapons from Russia to the Syrian regime. You can read more about the letter here.

Congressman Schneider and his colleagues sent a letter to the European Union (EU), urging it to classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. You can read that letter here. Just months after receiving this letter, the EU designated Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist organization.

Standing Up for Global Human Rights

Congressman Schneider signed a letter to the United States Association for International Development Administrator in support of reproductive health as a core human right. You can read that letter here.

Congressman Schneider signed a letter to National Security Advisor Susan Rice in support of humanitarian aid to those suffering during the Syrian civil war. You can read the letter here.

Congressman Schneider testified in front of the Budget Committee on the importance of funding for our International Affairs budget and the profound social, economic and diplomatic impact it has. You can read that testimony here.

Congressman Schneider cosponsored bills in support of Iranian dissidents and religious minorities, who are often persecuted by the Iranian regime. These groups include dissidents at Camp Hurriya and the Baha’i minority.

More on National Security

Apr 3, 2014
Press Release

Rep. Mark Meadows (NC-11), Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10), House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce (CA-39) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (NY-16) will introduce legislation that would toughen economic sanctions against Hezbollah, a terrorist organization that continues to pose a threat to the United States, our allies and interests throughout the Middle East, and well beyond. 

Mar 30, 2014
In The News

The US visa waiver program allows tourists to visit America for 90 days without the need to apply for a travel visa.

Thirty-seven countries are included in the US visa waiver program, including Andorra, Hungary, and South Korea. Israel is not.

For at least a year now, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has been leading a legislative effort in the US to get Israel included in the program.

Mar 29, 2014
In The News

Some North Shore parents prefer to lead by example when teaching their children about supporting the relationship between our country and Israel.

And during the annual Policy Conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee this month in Washington D.C. several parents from Deerfield, Highland Park and Northbrook gave their teens a firsthand look at how to lobby a member of Congress.

Mar 28, 2014
In The News

Three weeks after Secretary of State John Kerry promised a $1 billion loan guarantee to the cash-strapped government ofUkraine, Kiev remains empty-handed. The reason for the delay is a dispute on Capitol Hill over reforms to theInternational Monetary Fund. The White House insists any aid package to Ukraine include the long-desired IMF reforms, but Republicans oppose those changes. Now, a growing cohort of Democrats say the White House needs to drop the issue so an urgent aid package for Ukraine can make it through a divided Congress.

Mar 28, 2014
In The News

Three weeks after Secretary of State John Kerry promised a $1 billion loan guarantee to the cash-strapped government ofUkraine, Kiev remains empty-handed. The reason for the delay is a dispute on Capitol Hill over reforms to theInternational Monetary Fund. The White House insists any aid package to Ukraine include the long-desired IMF reforms, but Republicans oppose those changes. Now, a growing cohort of Democrats say the White House needs to drop the issue so an urgent aid package for Ukraine can make it through a divided Congress.

 

Mar 26, 2014
In The News

The US State Department is denying visas to senior members of Israeli security forces whose work is connected to Israeli control of the West Bank, Israel’s Channel 10 reported Tuesday night, citing “pro-Israel sources” on Capitol Hill.

The State Department effort to identify officers and commanders from the IDF, Shin Bet, Mossad, and other organizations with a West Bank role stems from a fear that these individuals may have played a part in violating Palestinians’ human rights, the report said.

Mar 20, 2014
In The News

The battle between members of Congress and the State Department over tourist visas for Israelis features two competing archetypes of the young Israeli traveler.

The lawmakers paint a picture of a world traveler, matured by service to country, who deserves a break from the stresses of the Middle East.

US consular officials, meanwhile, have warned of lawbreakers hawking dubious Dead Sea beauty products in malls and at rest stops.

Jan 20, 2014
Press Release

U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) released the following statement on the beginning of the Joint Action Plan.

“Today, marks a first step on a long, difficult process to end and dismantle Iran's nuclear weapons programs. It is imperative that the US and our allies remain dedicated to ensuring that Iran fully complies with the Joint Plan of Action, and that the sanctions architecture that brought Iran to this point remain robust and strong not just today but until Iran permanently abandons its nuclear ambitions.” 

Jan 19, 2014
In The News

Sixty-nine Democrats and 65 Republicans in the US House of Representatives signed a letter on Friday denouncing the American Studies Association’s recent decision to boycott Israeli universities and academic institutions.

The effort was spearheaded by Representatives Peter Roksam (R-Illinois), Ted Deutch (D-Florida), Doug Collins (R-Georgia) and Brad Schneider (D-Illinois).

Signatories on the letter include Representatives Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida) and Sander Levin (D-Michigan).

Jan 17, 2014
Press Release

Today, a bipartisan coalition of House lawmakers condemned the American Studies Association’s (ASA) academic boycott of Israel. 134 Members of Congress, led by Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Doug Collins (R-GA), and Brad Schneider (D-IL), sent a letter to ASA President Curtis Marez opposing ASA’s boycott as bigoted and an affront to academic freedom.