National Security | Congressman Ami Bera

Congressman Ami Bera

Representing the 7th District of California
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National Security

One of the federal government’s most important roles is ensuring the safety and security of the American people. I believe we must give our military and intelligence agencies the tools they need to keep us safe, while also protecting and defending the ideals that define us as the world’s greatest democracy.



Work on the Foreign Affairs Committee

As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I work regularly with my colleagues in both parties to promote American interests abroad.  I believe Congress has a responsibility to further America’s national security by promoting our global leadership and international cooperation. 

We have focused on subjects such as promoting human rights and combating human trafficking, dealing with a hostile Iran, and fostering better economic ties to strengthen trade relationships and create more jobs here at home.

For example, I had the opportunity to question Secretary of State John Kerry on America’s role in Afghanistan and how we can partner with Southeast Asian nations like India to maintain stability.

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Standing with Israel and Preventing a Nuclear Iran.

I have traveled with several of my congressional colleagues to meet with our Israeli allies as part of my work with the Foreign Affairs Committee.  I strongly support continuing America’s military assistance to Israel so they can maintain a qualitative military advantage and defend themselves in a dangerous part of the world.

Preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon is one of the most important things we can do to protect our own security interests the security of our ally Israel.  With Iran illegally pursuing nuclear weapons and sponsoring terrorist groups like Hamas, who openly seek Israel’s destruction, America must act to resist Iran’s extremist aggression.

That’s why I was proud to vote for the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act to tighten existing economic sanctions on Iran when it passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2013.  This bill would increase penalties paid by the Iranian leadership for repeated human rights violations, and increase oversight of the implementation and enforcement of current sanctions. 

While I am encouraged by the new interim nuclear deal between Iran and the U.S., I remain committed to an all-options-on-the-table approach towards Iran. In the months ahead, the U.S. and the international community must continue our vigilance and verification in Iran, and if Iran violates the interim agreement, or if a long-term accord does not materialize, they must be fully aware they will face serious consequences.

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Visiting our troops in Afghanistan

I had the privilege of meeting with service member Morgan Alcalay from Carmichael during my visit.

I was honored to visit with members of our military in Afghanistan in May of 2013.  While there, I also had the opportunity to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and U.S. officials to discuss the withdrawal of U.S. troops, regional security concerns, and the role our strategic partners will play in the region during the transition. 

This visit offered the invaluable experience of hearing directly from both the leaders in Afghanistan and individual service members on the ground.

Congressman Joe Kennedy and I traveled together as part of a congressional delegation aboard a military aircraft while we were in Afghanistan.
Congressman Joe Kennedy and I traveled together as part of a congressional delegation aboard a military aircraft while we were in Afghanistan.

Our men and women serving in the military are among the most dedicated and talented in the world. Many of the people I met have gone through multiple deployments, and all of them and their families have made many sacrifices. Americans should be proud of them and grateful for their service, and we must do everything we can to give them the support they need and deserve when they return home.

To learn more about how I’m working to support our returning heroes, please visit my Veterans page.

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Defending Against Cyberattacks.

Our nation’s energy grid, communications network, and other infrastructure are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. This is an especially important issue for our economy in Sacramento County, as some of our leading economic engines like Apple and Intel are threatened by cyber-attacks.  As a member of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, I am working to improve our technology infrastructure in a bipartisan way.

That’s why I voted for the bipartisan Cyber Security Enhancement Act to better coordinate research and other activities across the federal government to help address cyber threats.  I amended this bill to encourage federal agencies to recruit veterans for cyber security jobs.  Many veterans are our best computer specialists, and it only makes sense to recruit them for the work that they know best – keeping us safe. 

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Strengthening Economic and Diplomatic Ties

Since becoming your Congressman, I have focused on strengthening diplomatic and economic ties with countries around the globe.  I am a vocal advocate of increasing U.S. trade in Asia.  Opening up California’s rich agricultural economy to Asian markets would create jobs and increase global security. 

This shift has already begun - Sacramento’s almond growers are now exporting their products to India, an important first step in securing California’s place in the global economy.  Increased economic and diplomatic ties between the United States and the new democracies of Southeast Asia will bring more jobs to America while preserving and strengthening democratic governments in these nations.

That’s why I was proud to have my first official congressional visit to India.  I had a productive trip, and it helped me learn about new ways our countries can grow our economic partnership to benefit both economies and bring new jobs to Sacramento County.

I helped facilitate an agreement between the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the University of California Davis Postharvest Technology Center to collaborate on postharvest technology to reduce food losses due to spoilage.  I also secured a pledge from CII to bring a delegation of Indian CEOs and potential investors to Sacramento County to learn more about potential partnerships and investment opportunities in the region.

As a member of Congress, I will continue to ensure that we have active, open relationships with democratic governments throughout the world to bolster our trade and strengthen American security abroad.

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More on National Security

Dec 10, 2015 Ami's Updates

I sent an email update on Thursday on what I'm doing to combat the threat of terrorism in light of the recent terrorist attack in San Bernardino. Join my email updates now so you don't miss any in the future!

Nov 19, 2015 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. released the following statement after voting for H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act. The bill requires the Department of Homeland Security to verify that each refugee entering the United States has undergone a background check to ensure they are not a security threat.

Sep 11, 2015 Press Release

“After multiple classified and unclassified briefings, hearing constituent input, and talking with our international allies it’s my belief that this is the best agreement we have at this time to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. With the growing likelihood that this agreement will be approved, my support is based on the robust accountability, transparency, and enforcement measures in this agreement so that, if Iran violates any provision, we will know and they will face immediate consequences. All options should be on the table, including military action.

Jul 31, 2015 Press Release

Congressman Ami Bera, M.D., the only Indian American in Congress and Co-chair  of Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, this week introduced a resolution (H. Res. 395) to recognize India’s upcoming Independence Day and the significance of the United States - India partnership. The resolution commemorates the 68th anniversary of India’s Independence Day on August 15th, and celebrates the contributions of Indian Americans in various sectors of American society.

Mar 26, 2015 Page

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Mar 5, 2015 Ami's Updates

I sent an email update on Thursday about how I've been fighting to fund Homeland Security, our local veterans, and how my office can help during this tax season. Join my email updates now so you don't miss any in the future!

Mar 3, 2015 Press Release

Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. today made the following statement regarding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address before a Joint Meeting of the Congress:

Feb 27, 2015 Press Release

Today the U.S. House of Representatives failed to vote on a real solution to keep the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) open and instead brought up a stop-gap, temporary measure that failed 224-203. Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. made the following statement:

Feb 12, 2015 Press Release

Today the House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearing on the growing threat of ISIL, one day after President Obama released his proposal for use of force against ISIL.  Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. made the following statement:

Feb 3, 2015 Ami's Updates

I sent an email update on Tuesday about my official visit to India with the President to help strengthen U.S.-India economic and strategic ties. Join my email updates now so you don't miss any in the future!