Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Garamendi Leads Congressional Delegation to Middle East

March 22, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA), the Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee, recently returned from a congressional delegation to examine the impacts of U.S. policy, military posture, and engagement in the Middle East. Chairman Garamendi led the delegation, which included Congresswoman Debra Haaland (D-NM) and Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (D-TX), and visited Jordan, Iraq, and Kuwait. 

“This trip provided important insight and information on the role of the U.S. military, the State Department, and USAID in the aftermath of the military defeat of ISIS,” said Garamendi. “Discussions with heads of state in Jordan, Iraq, Kurdistan, and Kuwait as well as U.S. military leadership informed members on the next chapter in the fight to eliminate the ISIS fighters who retreated into communities in Syria, Iraq, and Europe. By all accounts the region will face an extended period of terrorist attacks. A new strategy must be developed with our partner nations immediately.”

“Of note, we visited the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and were briefed on refugee processing and resettlement activities,” Garamendi continued. “We learned how Jordan processes and tracks 2,500 new refugees a day—significantly more than the United States—using innovative technology that’s designed and paid for by the U.S.”

“The U.S. can deploy its own technology to provide more effective border security and refugee processing in our own country. These are critical issues and technologies we will study in detail thanks to the servicemembers and foreign leaders who shared their experiences and knowledge with our delegation. I thank them for their service and for their commitment to advancing our shared goal of peace and security throughout the world,” Garamendi concluded.

The delegation met with key U.S. military and embassy leadership and visited with servicemembers deployed to the region. In addition, the delegation met with key foreign leaders including King Abdullah II of Jordan, Prime Minister Abd al-Mahdi and Council of Representatives Speaker Halbusi of Iraq, and Minister of Defense Al-Sabah of Kuwait. The delegation emphasized the importance of U.S. military partnerships in the region to address the threat posed by violent extremist organizations such as ISIS and working with coalition partners to ensure security and stability in the region.