Representative Nita Lowey

Representing the 17th District of New York

Foreign Affairs

Congresswoman Lowey believes a robust foreign policy is critical to United States national security. She is a leading proponent of all three elements of a strong national security strategy: defense, diplomacy, and development.

As the former Chair and current Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, Lowey advocates full funding of diplomatic priorities, as well as security, economic, and humanitarian assistance. Fulfilling our leadership responsibility requires reducing poverty, increasing access to basic education and economic development; preventing and treating infectious diseases; promoting democracy in developing societies; and encouraging the export of U.S. products around the world. 


U.S.-Israel Relationship

Lowey is a leading proponent of a strong 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 ally secure its borders and protect its citizens. Lowey will also continue to support U.S. military assistance to help maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region.

Congresswoman Lowey believes we must work tirelessly to facilitate a two-state solution in the Middle East, and recognizes that the aspirations of the Palestinian people can only be achieved by the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip and by having leaders who strictly adhere to the Quartet principles, pursue peace with Israel, and commit to countering terrorism.

That is why she is working to:

  • Encourage Palestinian leadership to engage diplomatically with Israel, return to the negotiating table, and end incitement and hate speech;
  • Professionalize Palestinian security forces to end terrorism and lawlessness in Palestinian-controlled territories; and
  • Ensure that under no circumstances U.S. assistance benefits Hamas or other terrorist organizations, or rewards Palestinians for failing to engage diplomatically with Israel or meet the Quartet principles.

Combating Anti-Semitism

The recent rise of anti-Semitism both domestically and internationally is alarming and unacceptable. To combat this  scourge, Lowey co-founded  the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism, which was formed in order to ensure that Congress continues to play an integral role in condemning anti-Semitism and promoting tolerance worldwide.

The Taskforce will serve as a high-level forum for denouncing anti-Semitic incidents, evaluating current law enforcement efforts, and promoting Holocaust remembrance and education around the world.  The Taskforce will also engage with the Executive Branch, foreign leaders, and civil society organizations in order to share best practices and work together on finding innovative solutions that match the 21st century face of this age-old bigotry.


Iraq and Afghanistan

The brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces have performed admirably in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The skill, bravery, and selfless dedication of our men and women in uniform  - and their families at home - has made it possible to decrease our footprint and transfer security and governing responsibilities to Iraqis and Afghans.

Congresswoman Lowey supports responsible withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan while maintaining capability to target extremists intent on attacking the United States.

The deteriorating situation in the Middle East demands our attention to avert humanitarian disaster and to safeguard U.S. interests including American personnel.  ISIL has committed barbaric beheadings, mass executions, rape, and other crimes against humanity, and represents a global security threat that cannot be tolerated.  With partners in the region, the Administration must continue to implement an aggressive, targeted ISIL strategy that does not include a major combat mission for American troops.   Congresswoman Lowey believes Congress must continue to exercise oversight of the Administration’s actions to address this rapidly growing threat.


Basic Education

Educated children and young adults are better able to protect themselves from threats including poverty, disease, hunger, and terror recruitment. Yet more than 67 million children worldwide are not enrolled in primary school.  Congresswoman Lowey has worked hard to expand access to basic education in the developing world, promote curricula that reject intolerance and hate, and help schools contribute to peaceful and democratic societies, as recommended by the bipartisan 9-11 Commission. 

Congresswoman Lowey is the author the Global Health, Empowerment and Rights (HER) Act, bipartisan legislation that requires the U.S. government to make basic education a foreign policy priority and increase efforts to coordinate with partner countries, international organizations, and civil society groups to ensure foreign governments are providing a quality basic education for all their children.


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.  That is why she is working to:

  • Expand women’s access to credit and microcredit so they can start a business and provide an income for their families;
  • Protect women’s property rights so they cannot be targeted unfairly; and
  • Ensure girls – whose school enrollment rates are far lower than boys – have access to basic education.

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;
  • Supported President Obama’s repeal of the “global gag rule,” which prohibited foreign NGOs from receiving any U.S. assistance unless they agree not to use their own funds to perform abortions or provide referrals or counseling for these services; and 
  • Authored the Global Democracy Promotion Act, which would ensure our foreign aid policy promotes the same standards of freedom of speech and democratic participation in other countries that Americans are fortunate to have.

Global Health

Congresswoman Lowey remains a staunch advocate for global health and development.   The United States' efforts to save the lives of people the world over from deadly and infectious diseases such as AIDS, malaria, polio and tuberculosis, and Ebola,  as well as U.S. efforts to prioritize human rights, not only help maintain America’s moral leadership throughout the world, but are also absolutely critical to our own national security.  Our country's work to improve health outcomes empowers individuals to attend school, contribute to local economies, and build stable communities. Congresswoman Lowey has worked to ensure that these programs - which cost only a tiny fraction of our budget - remain effective and efficient, allowing the United States to reap substantial benefits in long-term global stability.


Caucus Memberships

In addition to co-chairing the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism, Congresswoman Lowey is a member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus and has fought to end human rights abuses around the world and to hold those responsible for violations of human rights accountable. She is also a member of the Bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Terror Financing. Recognizing the importance of a number of specific regions around the world to her constituents, Lowey is a member of Congressional caucuses focusing on India, Armenia, Ukraine, Taiwan, and Hellenic issues.