A. Resolve Conflicts through Diplomacy
- 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.
- Implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran without additional sanctions, and restore diplomatic relations with Iran.
- Support resolution of the Israeli Palestinian conflict through determined, balanced and multilateral diplomacy.
- Limit US involvement in African nations' internal affair to strengthen civil society, support domestic development, and mediate domestic conflicts when disputing parties request assistance.
- Continue normalization of relations with Cuba by lifting the trade embargo and closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
Congressman Ellison signed on to the Gallego/Takai letter to President Obama opposing an escalation in Iraq. – 6/12/15
Rep. Ellison voted against F. Y. 2010 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations (H.R. 4899) to continue funding for the War in Afghanistan. – 7/27/10
Rep. Ellison voted yes to requiring an Exit Strategy for Afghanistan – Amdt #3 to Military Authorization Bill 6/25/09
Rep. Ellison’s Statement on P5+1 Nuclear Agreement – The historic agreement reached today proves the power of engagement over isolation ” we can choose peace over war. The world is safer thanks to the patient diplomacy and determination of President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and our P5+1 negotiating partners. In the coming weeks, the focus will be on the U.S. Congress to see if Republicans take this deal away from the world. We will stop those who want to push us closer to war. – Press Release – 07.14.15
Rep. Ellison signed the Pastor/DeLauro letter to the President called for continued robust diplomacy with Iran. – 2/12/14
Rep. Ellison voted against H.R. 850 which imposes a de-facto oil embargo against Iran, requires the Sec of State to determine whether IRGC is a foreign terrorist organization, and forces other countries to reduce all trade with Iran–including food & medicine sales, or face U.S. sanctions. – 07/31/13
Rep Ellison with Reps Conyers,Johnson and Jones submitted a bipartisan amendment to the NDAA to clarify that â€œnothing in this Act shall be construed as authorizing the use of force against Iran. – June 2013
Rep. Ellison 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 Ellison sponsored the Congressional Briefing International Juvenile Justice Reform: Children in Israeli Military Detention – 6/2/15
Rep. Ellison Statement on Negotiations Between Israel and Palestinian Authority
WASHINGTON Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement after the negotiating period between Israel and the Palestinian Authority expired.
A lasting peace agreement between Israel and Palestine will require both sides to move beyond inevitable setbacks. Recent challenges in the process prove the need for more dialogue, not less. Both sides should commit to extending the current negotiations period to improve understanding and achieve a framework for peace.
The reconciliation of Hamas and Fatah presents not just a challenge but a potential opportunity for a durable peace agreement. I understand Israeli leaders opposition to negotiate with a unity government given Hamas refusal to recognize Israel and renounce violence. But any agreement that guarantees Israel’s long-term security and an independent Palestinian state will require peace with all the Palestinians, not just one faction. – Press Release, 4/29/14
Rep. Ellison cosponsored the Capps Letter which expresses concern about the breakdown of civilian infrastructure, including electricity, medical care, water, and sewage treatment, in the Gaza Strip due to Israel’s siege. The letter also expresses support for an immediate ceasefire. – 1/09/09
Rep. Ellison voted present on Res. 34, which recognizes the right of Israel to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, reaffirms U.S. strong support for Israel and supports the peace process. – Passed 1/09/09
Rep. Ellison cosponsored H.Res. 66, which expresses the sense of the House of Representatives concerning the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
Rep. Ellison cosponsored the Olver Letter to the Secretary of State which acknowledges the acute humanitarian crisis in Gaza and urges the U.S. to play a leading role in alleviating it. It also advocates for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and led to the Obama decision to release $20 million in emergency aid to the Gaza Strip. – 1/28/09
Rep. Ellison cosponsored H.Res. 130 which expresses support for the appointment of former Senator George Mitchell as Special Envoy for Middle East Peace. The resolution quotes Senator Mitchell on the resolvability of conflicts and also quotes President Obama on his concern regarding the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. – 2/4/2009
WASHINGTON — GOP Rep. Tom Emmer and Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison said Tuesday they were joining together to launch a Somalia Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The effort comes as the African country “emerges from decades of violent conflict and humanitarian crises,” the two said in a statement Tuesday.
“We are committed to assisting the Somali government build on economic and security gains they have achieved,” the statement said. “Together, we represent some of the largest Somali-American communities in the United States; for us and the constituents we represent, Somalia is not a far off foreign policy issue, itâ€™s a matter of domestic policy and national security.” -StarTribune 06.24.15
After hunting down the perpetrators of this attack (on Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya), the best way to defeat Al-Shabab is to support Somalia’s transition to statehood. – Ellison website October 2013
Rep. Ellison 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. – 8/07/13
According to American law, the United States must terminate aid to “any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup.” Although the Obama administration has been reluctant to suspend U.S. aid to Egypt, I believe it should. I understand some people’s concerns about cutting off aid. But it is important for the administration to respect the law, and to support Egypt’s difficult transition to democracy.
Our government prioritized stability in Egypt over democracy and human rights for too long. Instead of supporting Egyptian strongmen â€“ whether Mubarak or Al-Sisi our policy should respect American values and democratic principles. If the military restores democratic institutions, we should consider restoring U.S. aid. – Constituent Letter 10/8/13
Rep. Ellison supports the Progressive Caucus statement on Cuba The United States isolated Cuba for 53 years in a failed attempt to promote democracy and freedom. President Obama’s new course recognizes our old approach towards Cuba didn’t work.
Isolating Cuba separated the people of Cuba and their Cuban-American family members, and impaired our ability to build constructive relationships in Latin America. By restarting diplomatic relations and establishing a new embassy, the U.S. can start conversations on issues like commerce and human rights that have been dormant between our nations for too long. We applaud President Obama for his bold new approach and welcome news that, for the first time, both the U.S. and Cuba will attend the Summit of the America’s in 2015.
The president has laid out a promising path forward and now it is up to Congress to act. Congress must lift the trade embargo and normalize travel between our two nations, which are only 90 miles apart. The Congressional Progressive Caucus looks forward to working with President Obama and members of Congress who want to stabilize relations between the U.S. and Cuba. – 12/17/14
B. Build an international infrastructure for peace and prosperity:
- 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.
- Develop and strengthen alternatives to military force such as civilian peacekeeping forces, mediation and conflict-resolution, and significantly grow the US diplomatic corps.
- Commit to just and sustainable economic development strategies.
- Take a leadership role in international agreements on climate change, including reduction of emissions that cause global warming, and develop energy alternatives.
Rep. Ellison spoke out on the House floor in favor of repealing the 2001 AUMF. “It’s time to repeal the 2001 AUMF”. – June 2014
Rep. Ellison supports all provisions of the Progressive Caucus’ People’s Budget: Diplomacy and Development increases investment in diplomacy and development to stabilize key regions of the world through smart security, provides vital development and humanitarian assistance, and increases tools to combat the horrors of drug and human trafficking and nuclear proliferation. – March 2015
Rep. Ellison is a co-sponsor of the bill to create a Cabinet-level Department of Peace.
I believe that America’s interests are best served by an increased and continued emphasis on diplomacy and development, which are the roles and responsibilities of our foreign service agencies. Congressman’s website 6/14/10
Rep. Ellison is a co-sponsor of H.R. 2139, the Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act 2009, which places great emphasis on aid effectiveness and the need to better coordinate U.S. foreign aid programs by requiring increased transparency. The Congressman believes that U.S. foreign assistance programs should be under civilian control in all but the most exceptional cases. His website states In achieving a full-scale reformation of U.S. foreign assistance management, it is important that the roles and budget of USAID be strengthened and expanded to oversee all aid-related initiatives and programs. The further development of developing or underdeveloped nations should be one of the three pillars of ensuring U.S. national security along with diplomacy and defense. 6/14/10
Rep. Ellison signed on to a letter to the President expressing opposition to fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. He also co-authored an Op-Ed with Rep. Nolan expressing their concerns re the TPP. – Mpls. Star Tribune, 3/6/14
Rep. Ellison voted against Free Trade Agreements with Columbia, Panama and South Korea. – October 2011
Rep. Ellison briefly addresses global warming on his website: https://ellison.house.gov/issues/environment-energy-global-warming. He supports investing in green technologies, transitioning away from reliance on fossil fuels, and making it more affordable for families to make eco-friendly lifestyle choices. – March 2016
Rep. Ellison voted yes on the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R.2454): To create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy. – Passed 06/26/09
C. Dismantle the infrastructure that encourages militaristic response to conflicts:
- Significantly reduce the US defense budget, increase its transparency and ensure the military is accountable for its defense expenditures.
- Negotiate and approve agreements and treaties such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, that reduce the risk of war.
- Reaffirm US commitment to the Geneva Conventions, US Rules of Engagement and US Code of Military Conduct.
Rep. Ellison supports all provisions of the Progressive Caucus’ People’s Budget:
End Emergency War Funding Beginning in FY2017 limits Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding to redemployment out of Afghanistan in FY2016 and zeroes out OCO thereafter, saving $761 billion compared to current law. Reduce Base Pentagon Spending reduces baseline military spending to ensure Pentagon spending does not continue to contribute significantly to our current fiscal burden, and establishes a responsible, targeted approach towards a sustainable defense budget.
Modernizing our Defense Posture achieves a smaller force structure with fewer personnel through attrition. A modern defense strategy must focus our armed forces on their strengths of crisis response, smart security, and deterrence. Our military needs to adapt to current threats and challenges, particularly cyberwarfare, nuclear proliferation, and non-state actors. No savings are obtained by reducing military personnel wages or benefits, including TRICARE and pensions. The proportion of private contractor personnel would be significantly reduced and their work transitioned to civilian personnel, curbing needless outsourcing that creates excessive cost overruns. Additional reforms include the decommissioning our Cold War-era nuclear weapons infrastructure, as outlined by the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act, and reducing procurement and research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) spending by making smarter procurement choices.
Audit the Pentagon – As the only federal agency that cannot be audited, the Pentagon loses tens of billions of dollars annually to waste, fraud, and abuse. It is past time to check the wasteful practices with little oversight that weaken our financial outlook and ultimately, our national security. – March 2015
Rep. Ellison is cosponsoring H.R. 4608, which would repeal the 2001 Use of Military Force (AUMF), that has served as the justification for not only the Iraq War, but the War in Afghanistan, armed drone attacks, widespread wiretapping, indefinite detentions in Guantanamo and more – Friends Committee on National Legislation website, July 2015
Rep. Ellison voted aye, along with 190 of his colleagues, on Rep. Schiff’s amendment to the NDAA to repeal the Authorization of the Use of Military Force. There were 233 votes against it. – 05/22/14
Rep. Ellison cosponsored the Schiff and Lee bills to repeal the A.U.M.F. – May 2014
Rep. Ellison 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. Ellison voted against excessive Pentagon spending and the National Defense Authorization Act stating the failure of ending the War in Afghanistan. Ellison made a statement saying that “We can balance our national security needs while making smarter, more targeted investments in defense. U.S. military leaders have urged us to trim the Pentagon’s budget. It’s time for Congress to listen.” – Rep. Ellison’s website, 12/21/2012
Rep. Ellison is for arms control and reduction of weapons and supports the treaties that ban land mines and cluster munitions. Rep. Ellison believes we should greatly decrease spending on military hardware and national missile defense. He favors an increase in salary and benefits for veterans. – Project Vote Smart, January 2012
Rep. Ellison voted for the Mulvaney/Frank Amendment to cut $1.1B from the Defense Appropriations Bill. – 07/19/12
Signed a letter to the Administration asking for an explanation about its drone strike policy, particularly concerning civilian casualties and so-called “signature strikes” that target unknown people. – June 2012
Co-sponsored the War is Making Us Poor Act – June 2010
Opposed expansion of missile defense shield. – Project Vote Smart June 2010
With Rep. Barney Frank called for an end to unchecked, outdated defense spending in a meeting with Business Leaders for Sensible Priorites – 1/24/09
Joined other progressive house members in calling for a 25% cut in military spending March 2009
Rep. Ellison cosponsored the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures Act which prohibits using funds appropriated to the DOD for FY 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. – 4/11/13
Rep. Ellison voted to transfer $17M from the troubled MOX plutonium program to secure or remove bomb-grade nuclear material around the world. – 6/06/12
Rep. Ellison is opposed to building new nuclear power plants and supports carbon cap & trade agreements. Rep. Ellison supports environmental regulations for reducing the effects of climate change. – Project Vote Smart January 2012
Rep. Ellison voted NO on cooperating with India as a nuclear power – September 2008
Rep. Ellison has called for closing Guantanamo Bay and restoring habeas corpus rights to so-called enemy combatants. Beyond that, Keith has pushed for the Army Field Manual’s limitations on interrogation techniques, which prohibit waterboarding and other torture, to cover all U.S. government agencies and personnel. – 2012 Campaign Web Site
Congressman Ellison supported the impeachment of President Bush, which included articles on detention, torture and rendition. He also supported limiting CIA interrogation techniques to what is allowed in the Army Field Manual. He has made no public statements on accountability for torture since President Obama’s election