Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN)

Washington D.C. Office

2256 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

St. Paul Office

165 Western Avenue North, Suite #17
St. Paul, Minnesota 55102

Positions on MPP Peace Agenda and give voting record, position papers, etc.

A. Resolve Conflicts through Diplomacy

  1. Promote stability in the Middle East by withdrawing all US military forces from the area, replacing US military aid with development aid and engaging diplomatically with all nations in the region.
  2. In her statement in Opposition to the McKeon Amendment to H. J. Res. 124 Rep. McCollum stated her support for US military assistance and action in defeating ISIL short of committing ground troops.

    I want President Obama to conduct airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq and in Syria if need be. I want Iraqi forces trained and equipped so they are confident and competent to take the fight on the ground to remove ISIL from Iraq. 9/17/2014

    We should all expect that there will be some U.S. boots on the ground in Iraq and quite possibly Syria. Special operations forces, military trainers, and spotters to direct air strikes may all be required to enter the battle field at great risk…But a full commitment of U.S. troops on the ground to directly engage ISIL is unacceptable. 9/17/2014

    Rep. McCollum has consistently voted with the minority for legislation that would prohibit the US military from new or continuing engagement in Middle East conflicts

    Voted no on H Amdt 1141. Authorizing Aid to Syrian Opposition (adopted) It authorizes The Secretary of Defense to provide training, equipment, supplies, and other assistance to appropriately vetted Syrian opposition groups and individuals to e.g. protect the Syrian people from attacks by groups like ISIL. (9/17/2014)

    Voted yes on an amendment (rejected) to HR 4870 that prohibits funds appropriated through the bill’s provisions from being used for the purposes of conducting combat operations in Iraq.

    Voted yes on H Amdt 917 (rejected) that Prohibits the United States from Providing Weapons in Syria 6/19/2014

    Voted yes on an amendment to HR 4435 (rejected) that repeals the Authorization for Use of Military Force granting the President the authority to use all “necessary and appropriate force” against those deemed responsible for the September 11th attacks.

  3. Implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran without additional sanctions, and restore diplomatic relations with Iran.
  4. Nuclear Deal with Iran Makes America and the World Safer

    (Washington, DC) – Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) released the following statement in response to the announcement of a diplomatic deal between the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, and Iran to limit Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapon.

    Denying Iran the ability to continue to develop a nuclear weapon with this verifiable agreement is a diplomatic triumph which enhances U.S. and global security. This agreement is the only alternative to an escalating, dangerous nuclear arms race that threatens the security of the American people.

    Unfortunately, critics in Congress, along with Republican presidential candidates, have started down the dangerous path of working to undermine this agreement to score partisan political points. If allowed to succeed, these hardliners threaten our national security by increasing the probability that Iran will obtain a nuclear weapon.

    With regard to Israel, the U.S. has an unshakable strategic commitment to the security of the Israeli people. This agreement does nothing to diminish Israel’s security. In fact, this agreement guarantees that Israel remains the only power with nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s ceaseless effort to undermine President Obama and an important national security priority only harms the U.S.-Israeli partnership.

    I applaud President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and Secretary Moniz for their tireless commitment to advancing America’s national security through diplomatic engagement. While there certainly remain issues beyond nuclear non-proliferation, such as the detention of innocent American citizens and on-going support for terrorist organizations, that requires action by Iran if improved diplomatic relations with the U.S. are to be achieved, this nuclear agreement has my support. If Congress decides to disapprove of the agreement I will vote to sustain President Obama’s veto. – Press Release 07.14.15

    Rep. McCollum has consistently supported a diplomatic resolution to the conflict over Iran’s nuclear program. She has signed the following letters to the President urging diplomacy with Iran while using the sanctions in place as leverage to conclude a deal.
    – Pastor/DeLauro letter calling for continued robust diplomacy with Iran. – Feb. 12, 2014
    – Dent/Price letter stating it would be prudent for the U.S. to utilize all diplomatic tools to reinvigorate ongoing nuclear talks. July 19, 2013
    -Ellison/Jones letter asking that he utilize all available tools of diplomacy to resolve the crisis over Iran’s nuclear program and prevent another costly war in the Middle East. – Feb. 2012

    Rep. McCollum voted in favor of the so-called Iran Threat Reduction Act which calls for severe indiscriminate sanctions as well as an anti-diplomacy provision that prohibits U.S. government employees in any official or unofficial capacity from contacting anyone who is affiliated with the Iranian government and who presents a threat to the United States or is affiliated with terrorist organizations. 12/14/11

  5. Support resolution of the Israeli Palestinian conflict through determined, balanced and multilateral diplomacy.
  6. Rep. McCollum joined 80 other House members in voting against H.Res 11 which criticized the Administration for abstaining from a UN Resolution condemning Israeli building of settlements in the West Bank. -January, 2017

    Rep. McCollum led a letter to State John Kerry urging the Department of State to prioritize Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children in the U.S. bilateral relationship with Israel.

    Dear Secretary Kerry:

    In 2013 the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) issued a profoundly disturbing report entitled Children in Israeli Military Detention: Observations and Recommendations in response to the estimated seven thousand Palestinian children, ages 12 to 17, from the Occupied West Bank who during the previous decade were subjected to arrest, detention, interrogation, and/or imprisonment by Israeli army, police, and security agents. UNICEF initiated their report in response to concerns regarding the cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment and punishment of Palestinian children while in the Israeli military detention system.

    Israel’s military detention system targeting children is an anomaly in the world. In fact, UNICEF states, it is understood that in no other country are children systematically tried by juvenile military courts that, by definition, fall short of providing the necessary guarantees to ensure respect for their rights.
    Based on international law and treaties, the UNICEF report makes 38 recommendations for action by Israeli officials while offering the following conclusion:
    The ill treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systemic and institutionalized throughout the process, from the moment of arrest until a child’s prosecution and eventual conviction and sentencing.

    The security interests of Israel are clearly a national security priority of the United States and the American people. There could be no more clear demonstration of American commitment to Israel than the more than $3 billion of U.S. taxpayer funds which are invested annually to ensure the security of the Israeli people. Nonetheless, respecting and defending the human rights of children, regardless of their ethnicity, race, religion, or nationality, is a fundamental American value, as well as a priority for all Americans.
    In 2014, Israel arrested a Palestinian American child who suffered physical violence and ill treatment while in an Israeli detention center. This incident only highlights our belief that the state sponsored abuse of children cannot be tolerated.

    Earlier this year UNICEF issued a follow¬ up report outlining areas where Israel has adapted, modified, or discussed changes to its system of military detention of Palestinian children. This is a positive step and a clear acknowledgement that legitimate human rights concerns exist. Progress to ensure Palestinian children’s rights are not abused is in the interest of the U.S., Israel, and the Palestinian people. We urge the Department of State to elevate the human rights of Palestinian children to a priority status in our bilateral relationship with Israel. Furthermore, we fully expect the State Department’s annual human rights report to address the status of Israel’s military detention system and treatment of Palestinian children. June, 2015

    Representative McCollum has questioned the State Department about the possibility of Foreign Military Aid dollars going to the support or expansion of illegal settlements, and has called on the State Department to hold Israel accountable if she continues settlement expansion.

  7. Limit US involvement in African nations' internal affair to strengthen civil society, support domestic development, and mediate domestic conflicts when disputing parties request assistance.
  8. Rep. McCollum signed on to a letter to the President saying in part: We appreciate your Administration’s continued efforts to implement the strategy to defeat the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) as outlined in the bipartisan Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act. Vigorous diplomacy — chiefly from the newly appointed Special Envoy for the African Great Lakes Region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo Russell Feingold — will be critical. However, the continued presence of U.S. Special Forces deployed in the field to advise and assist regional African forces is essential to finishing the job. Simply put, there is no substitute for the expertise of U.S. Special Forces. – 08.07.13

  9. Continue normalization of relations with Cuba by lifting the trade embargo and closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
  10. Rep McCollum sponsored (Sp) or co-sponsored (Co) the following legislation that promote normalizing relations with Cuba
    H.R.403 Free Trade With Cuba Act (Co) Would repeal trade Cuban trade embargo (1/16/15)
    H.R. 570: Stop Wasting Taxpayer Money on Cuba Broadcasting Act of 2015 (Sp)
    R.1528, Export Freedom to Cuba Act of 2009 (Co)
    H.R.1531, Promoting American Agricultural and Medical Exports to Cuba Act of 2009 (Co)
    H.R.874, Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act (Co)

  11. Lead diplomatic efforts to end the Syrian civil war engaging all interested parties.
  12. Rep. McCollum co-sponsored H.R. 1473, a bill saying that Congress must approve sending any additional troops to Syria. -May 2017

B. Build an international infrastructure for peace and prosperity:

  1. Commit the US to strengthening the United Nations by becoming a signatory to the International Criminal Court and International Human Rights Treaties, respecting and upholding international law including military nonintervention, and promoting universal human rights.
  2. Rep McCollum supports the International Human Rights Defense Act of 2015 (Co) that would create a Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Peoples responsible for direct U.S. government efforts regarding the human rights of LGBT people (1/28/2015)

    Rep. McCollum signed a letter to the President calling for his FY 16 budget request to include robust funding directed to further human rights of LGBT individuals around the world. Nov. 14, 2014

    Rep. McCollum co sponsored a resolution calling on India to protect the rights and freedoms of religious minorities and asked the State Dept to continue denying an entry visit to Indian politician Narenda Modi Nov, 2013

    On 6/17/09 Representative McCollum co-authored a letter to speaker Nancy Pelosi urging an increase in aid to developing countries to defend against and mitigate the effects of climate change; supported the American Clean Energy and Security Act, calling it the “most important piece of energy legislation ever considered by Congress.

    In a press release she stated support to reduce greenhouse emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 and supported actions increasing funding for alternative energy sources, research and development.

  3. Develop and strengthen alternatives to military force such as civilian peacekeeping forces, mediation and conflict-resolution, and significantly grow the US diplomatic corps.
  4. Representative McCollum voted to establish a Department of Peace and Nonviolence (2007) and has consistently supported development and diplomatic programs.

  5. Commit to just and sustainable economic development strategies.
  6. Rep McCollum sponsored (Sp) or co-sponsored (Co) the following legislation related to sustainable economic development

    Co-author of Global Food Security Act of 2015 the act will assist small-scale farmers in increasing yields, putting more food on their family’s table, and selling more food in the market. - 5/25/2015

    H.Res. 688: Supporting the role of the United States in ensuring children in poor countries have access to vaccines and immunization through the GAVI Alliance.2014 (Sp)

    H.R. 2822 (113th): Global Food Security Act of 2013 (Sp)
    Develop comprehensive strategy for assistance to developing countries to achieve food and nutrition security, increase sustainable and equitable agricultural development develop rural infrastructure and stimulate rural economies (Not Enacted)

    Rep. McCollum has supported the USAID budget, calling for increased funding for the health of children and perceives Rep McCollum sponsored (Sp) or co-sponsored (Co) the following legislation related to sustainable economic development
    Co author of Global Food Security Act of 2015 the act will assist small-scale farmers in increasing yields, putting more food on their family table, and selling more food in the market. - 5/25/2015

    H.Res. 688: Supporting the role of the United States in ensuring children in poor countries have access to vaccines and immunization through the GAVI Alliance.2014

    H.R. 2822 (113th): Global Food Security Act of 2013

    Develop comprehensive strategy for assistance to developing countries to achieve food and nutrition security, increase sustainable and equitable agricultural development develop rural infrastructure and stimulate rural economies (Not Enacted)

    Rep. McCollum has supported the USAID budget, calling for increased funding for the health of children and perceives foreign assistance is a critical instrument for achieving national security goals, with modernizing foreign assistance as a national priority.

    She has affirmed the commitment and leadership of the United States to improve the lives of people living in extreme poverty and conditions of misery.
    Representative McCollum voted against the establishment of a free trade zone between the United states, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

    She voted Yes on promoting free trade with Peru and on assisting workers who lose jobs due to globalization.

    She voted No in implementing the following Free Trade Agreements: CAFTA (Central America), US-Australia; US-Singapore, Chili. She receives low ratings by CSATO, indicating a pro-fair trade voting record.

    Rep. McCollum spoke out against a preferential trade arrangement with Columbia because of their government’s poor human rights record. This agreement she said doe not advance fair trade, and urged colleagues to vote against it. – October, 2011

  7. Take a leadership role in international agreements on climate change, including reduction of emissions that cause global warming, and develop energy alternatives.
  8. Rep. McCollum believes we must direct taxpayer subsidies toward renewable energy technologies like solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, wave energy and others in order to preserve the well-being of the planet and compete with countries that have already taken full advantage of these resources, such as India, China, Brazil and Germany. Her views on energy can be read here: March 2016

C. Dismantle the infrastructure that encourages militaristic response to conflicts:

  1. Significantly reduce the US defense budget, increase its transparency and ensure the military is accountable for its defense expenditures.
  2. Rep McCollum voted no on the following legislation that would increase military expenditures:
    – Increase in new budget authority for the “global war on terror” by $2 billion, from $94 billion to $96 billion FY 2016
    – 2014 National Defense Authorization Act – 06.14.13 Rep. McCollum has supported measures requiring Defense, State, the Interior Department, and USAID to provide descriptions of contracts and task orders in excess of $5 million for work to be performed in Iraq and Afghanistan and has voted to restrict no-bid defense contracts.

    Rep. McCollum however voted yes on H.Amdt. 86 (Price) (accepted) to H. Con.Res. 27: To increase new budget authority for the Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism 3/25/2015

    Rep. McCollum has supported calls for an evaluation by the Pentagon of the need, relevance and cost of cold-war based weapons systems; Rep. McCollum has supported legislation that included a ban on permanent bases in Iraq.

    Rep. McColllum has consistently voted in favor of legislation that would repeal the Authorization of the Use of Military Force (AUMF) and to restrict funding for military action under the AUMF. This includes Rep. Schiff’s amendment to the NDAA to repeal the AUMF. There were 233 votes against it. -05.22.14

    Rep. McCollum voted in favor of the Schiff Amendment which would have restricted the use of funds in the Military Appropriations Bill for any use of force under the legal rationale of the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) after December 31, 2014. Failed 185 – 236. – July 2013

    Rep. McCollum appears to oppose a missile defense based on practicality and cost; Opposes starting missile race. She has consistently voted for an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to cut the overall missile defense budget. (2006, 2007, 2008)

  3. Negotiate and approve agreements and treaties such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, that reduce the risk of war.
  4. Rep. McCollum voted no on an amendment to HR 4435(adopted) that prohibits funds appropriated to the Department of Defense from being used to implement the New START Treaty (2010). 5/21/2014

    She has consistently supported START. Along with other house members, she signed a letter to the President to extend the START Treaty with Russia (2007). She received a rating of 100% by SANE (2003)

    In a widely reprinted statement “Why I Won’t Attend Netanyahu Speech” Rep. McCollum said she wouldn’t attend the speech because it was an effort to undermine the president while the United States and its five partners engage in tough negotiations with Iran to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons” a national security priority I strongly support. – 02.25.15

    Rep. McCollum strongly supports negotiations with Iran to preclude their production of nuclear weapons in exchange for an end to sanctions.
    She stated when negotiations began.
    I applaud President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, along with our international partners, for negotiating a significant step towards peacefully achieving a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran. (Feb. 25, 2013)
    Rep. McCollum cosponsored the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures Act which prohibits use of DOD appropriations to arm a B-2 or B-52 aircraft with a nuclear weapon, for the research, development, test, and evaluation or procurement of a long-range penetrating bomber aircraft, to make the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons, or for the B61 or W78 life extension program. – 04.11.13

    She voted against Amendment to HR 4435 (accepted) that extends the requirement that intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) silos maintain at least “warm” status, including full functionality in the control and command system of the missile field, beyond 5/21/2015

    She, along with other house members, signed a letter to the President to extend the START Treaty with Russia (2007). She received a rating of 100% by SANE (2003)

  5. Reaffirm US commitment to the Geneva Conventions, US Rules of Engagement and US Code of Military Conduct.
  6. Rep.McCollum did not support HR 68, a bill calling on the President to report on actions in support of the weapons reduction treaty; she did sign a letter sent to President Bush asking that nuclear weapons not be an option in resolving differences in Iran.

    Rep. McCollum voted for the Moran Amendment to the NDAA to strike sections of the bill that would restrict funding for the transfer or release of detainees being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison to the United States or another sovereign country. Failed 175-247. – 07.24.13

    Rep. McCollum voted yes on an amendment to HR 4870 (defeated) that repeals the provision in this bill prohibiting the use of funds to transfer or release Guantanamo Bay detainees. or to construct facilities in the United States to hold the detainees.

    Rep McCollum was a co-sponsor of the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act of 2007 (H.R. 1755) and will be re-introducing the bill in the House during the 2009 session. She began advocating the end of the use of anti-personnel mines in March, 2001