Representative Nita Lowey

Representing the 17th District of New York

Foreign Affairs

Congresswoman Lowey believes that our national security is strongest when development, diplomacy, and defense are all equally prioritized and supported.

As the Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, she promotes efforts to reduce global poverty, increase access to basic education and economic development, manage infectious diseases, promote good governance and rule of law in developing societies, and provide life-saving humanitarian assistance in times of need. Representing only 1% of the U.S. budget, these programs maintain American influence and leadership in advancing democratic principles and promote goodwill among current and future international partners.

She has specifically emphasized the need to prioritize girls and women in advancing global development priorities, including through efforts to increase access to basic education programs and the full range of health services. She is a strong proponent of the U.S.-Israel relationship. She is a staunch advocate for human rights and promotes equality and fairness for all, including voicing support for the LGBTI community and working to stem the increasing incidence of anti-Semitism around the world.


U.S.-Israel Relationship

Congresswoman Lowey is a leading proponent of an unbreakable U.S.- Israel relationship, which is essential to U.S. national security interests. She is a strong advocate for the annual U.S. aid package for Israel, which helps our closest ally in the Middle East secure its borders and protect its citizens. Lowey also supports U.S. military assistance to help maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region.

She believes that a two-state solution, negotiated by the two sides with mutually agreed upon land swaps, is the best option to achieve a democratic, Jewish State of Israel and a viable, democratic, Palestinian state, living side-by-side in peace, security, and mutual recognition. 

That is why she is working to:

  • Facilitate and finance joint economic ventures and people-to-people exchanges between Palestinians, Israelis, and Americans through the introduction of the Partnership Fund for Peace, which would lay the foundation for this generation and those to come to engage in the hard work of peace-building;
  • Support diplomatic and Congressional efforts to get both sides to return to the negotiating table; and
  • Oppose the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement’s efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and push both sides of the conflict farther away from direct negotiations.

Combating Anti-Semitism

The recent rise of anti-Semitism around the globe and here at home is deeply alarming and unacceptable. To combat this scourge, Lowey co-founded and serves as Co-Chair of the House Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism to ensure that Congress plays an integral role in condemning anti-Semitism and promoting tolerance worldwide.

The Task Force is a high-level forum for denouncing anti-Semitic incidents, evaluating current law enforcement efforts, and promoting Holocaust remembrance and education around the world. The Task Force also engages with the Executive Branch, foreign leaders, and civil society organizations to share best practices and work together to find innovative solutions that match the 21st century face of this age-old bigotry.


Basic Education

There is no greater force multiplier in foreign aid than education. An educated citizenry contributes to sustained economic growth, strengthened democratic institutions, the empowerment of women and girls, and decreased extremism. That is why no country has reached sustained economic growth without achieving near universal primary education. Yet more than 263 million children and youth are out of school. 

That is why Congresswoman Lowey introduced the Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development (READ) Act, a bipartisan bill to expand access to education for the world’s most vulnerable children. After 13 years of hard work, the READ Act was passed into law in 2017, which has since led to the creation of the U.S. Government Strategy on Basic Education for Fiscal Years 2019 to 2023; the establishment of a Senior Coordinator position at USAID to oversee all U.S. Government international basic education efforts; and increased U.S. engagement with key partner countries, donors, civil society, the private sector, and multilateral global education initiatives.

While the passage of the READ Act is an exciting step in the right direction, Congresswoman Lowey believes we must continue to support efforts to remove barriers to education and increase education quality for all children around the globe.


Empowering Women

Congresswoman Lowey understands that it will be impossible for developing countries to progress toward economic stability if they leave half of their populations behind. In her role as Chair of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee she’s supported significant investments in women-focused programs, including efforts to improve girls’ access to education; increase leadership opportunities for women and girls; assist women and girls who are victims of extremism; and decrease gender-based violence and child marriage.

The ability to determine when to have children and how many children to have is critical to women’s health, preventing unintended pregnancies, and economic empowerment. That is why Congresswoman Lowey has:

  • Authored the Global HER Act, which would repeal the dangerous, anti-woman Global Gag Rule;
  • Supported robust funding for bilateral and multilateral family planning programs and fought against efforts to restrict U.S. funding for life-saving health and family planning programs for the poorest women and children around the world; and
  • Fought against President Trump’s reinstatement and expansion of the Global Gag Rule and efforts to reduce U.S. leadership on sexual and reproductive health.

Global Health

Congresswoman Lowey is a staunch advocate for programs that tackle and prevent global health threats, like efforts to mitigate and contain the spread of diseases such as AIDS, malaria, polio, tuberculosis, and Ebola. These global health programs not only maintain America’s moral leadership around the world but are also critical to our national security. She also supports programs to reduce maternal and child mortality, improve nutrition, and increase food security. These efforts improve health outcomes and empower individuals to attend school, contribute to local economies, and build stable communities, all of which promote global stability and our own national security.