Voted NO on supporting democratic institutions in Pakistan.
Congressional Summary:Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement Act (PEACE Act): Authorizes the President to provide assistance for Pakistan to support democratic institutions; economic development; human rights; health care; and public diplomacy.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. IKE SKELTON (D, MO-4): Pakistan is important to the Middle East and our intentions there. Their cooperation, of course, is so very, very important. This legislation gives economic and democratic development assistance to that country.
Rep. HOWARD BERMAN (D, CA-28): We can't allow al Qaeda or any other terrorist group that threatens our national security to operate with impunity in the tribal regions or any other part of Pakistan. Nor can we permit the Pakistani state and its nuclear arsenal to be taken over by the Taliban.
To help prevent this nightmare scenario, we need to forge a true strategic partnership with Pakistan and its people, strengthen Pakistan's democrat government, and work to make Pakistan a source of stability in a volatile region.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN (R, FL-18): This bill focuses on past actions and failures attributed to the Pakistani Government, punishing the new leadership for the sins of its predecessors. While the authors of H.R. 1886 may have sought to empower our Pakistani partners to undertake the formidable task of fighting and winning against violent extremists, it does the opposite. We have gone down this road before. I recall during the Iraq debate, Members sought to prejudge the surge strategy before it could even be implemented. Let us hope that this will not be repeated with respect to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Voted YES on cooperating with India as a nuclear power.
Congressional Summary:US-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act:
Approves the US-India Agreement for Cooperation on Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.
Declares that it is US policy to prevent the transfer to India of nuclear equipment, materials, or technology from other participating governments in the Nuclear Suppliers Group or from any other source; and
any nuclear power reactor fuel reserve provided to India for use in safeguarded civilian nuclear facilities should be commensurate with reasonable reactor operating requirements.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. HOWARD BERMAN (D, CA-28): Integrating India into a global nonproliferation regime is a positive step. Before anyone gets too sanctimonious about India's nuclear weapons program, we should acknowledge that the five recognized nuclear weapons states have not done nearly enough to fulfill their commitments under the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty, including making serious reductions in their own arsenals, nor in the case of the US in ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. BARBARA LEE (D, CA-9): In withholding my approval, I seek not to penalize the people of India but, rather, to affirm the principle of nuclear nonproliferation. Jettisoning adherence to the international nuclear nonproliferation framework that has served the world so well for more than 30 years, as approval of the agreement before us would do, is just simply unwise. It is also reckless.
Approval of this agreement undermines our efforts to dissuade countries like Iran and North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. By approving this agreement, all we are doing is creating incentives for other countries to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Reference: US-India Nuclear Agreement;
; vote number 2008-H662
on Sep 27, 2008
Voted YES on deterring foreign arms transfers to China.
To authorize measures to deter arms transfers by foreign countries to the People's Republic of China, A YES vote would grant the President the ability to place sanctions on any individual or country that violates the arms embargo, including:
Denial of participation in cooperative research and development
Prohibition of ownership and control of any business registered as a manufacturer or exporter of defense articles or services
Removal of all licenses relative to dual-use goods or technology
Prohibition of participation of any foreign military sales
Reference: East Asia Security Act;
Bill HR 3100
; vote number 2005-374
on Jul 14, 2005
Voted YES on reforming the UN by restricting US funding.
To reform the United Nations, by limiting the US contribution to the UN by up to one-half by the year 2007, if the following reforms are not made:
Requires the creation of an Independent Oversight Board with the authority to evaluate all operations of the UN
Instructs the UN to implement procedures to protect whistle-blowers, individuals who reveal wrongdoings within an organization to the public or to those in positions of authority
Obliges the creation of a uniform code of conduct for all UN officials
Requires the shifting of the funding mechanisms of certain organizational programs from the regular assessed UN budget to voluntarily funded programs
Compels the US President to influence the Secretary General of the UN to waive diplomatic immunity for UN officials under investigation or charged with serious criminal offences
Creates a certification of UN cooperation to provide documentary evidence to member states investigating the Oil-for-Food program
Reference: United Nations Reform Act;
Bill HR 2745
; vote number 2005-282
on Jun 17, 2005
Voted NO on keeping Cuba travel ban until political prisoners released.
Stop enforcing travel restrictions on US citizens to Cuba, only after the president has certified that Cuba has released all political prisoners, and extradited all individuals sought by the US on charges of air piracy, drug trafficking and murder.
Voted YES on withholding $244M in UN Back Payments until US seat restored.
Vote to adopt an amendment that would require that the United States be restored to its seat on the UN Human Rights Commission before the payment of $244 million in funds already designated to pay UN back dues.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Hyde, R-IL;
Bill HR 1646
; vote number 2001-107
on May 10, 2001
Voted NO on $156M to IMF for 3rd-world debt reduction.
Vote on an amendment that would transfer $156 million from foreign military financing to the Highly Indebted Poor Countries [HIPC] Trust Fund. The HIPC Trust fund is designed to help debtor countries pay off the money they owe to multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Waters, D-CA;
Bill HR 4811
; vote number 2000-397
on Jul 13, 2000
Voted NO on Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China.
Vote to give permanent Normal Trade Relations [NTR] status to China. Currently, NTR status for China is debated and voted on annually. The measure contains provisions designed to protect the United States from Chinese import surges and the administration would have to report annually on China's compliance with the trade agreement. The bill establishes a commission to monitor human rights, labor standards and religious freedom in China.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Archer, R-TX;
Bill HR 4444
; vote number 2000-228
on May 24, 2000
Voted NO on $15.2 billion for foreign operations.
Vote on a bill to provide $15.2 billion for foreign operations in FY 2000. Among other provisions, the bill would provide $1.82 billion over three years for implementation of the Wye River peace accord in the Middle East. In addition, the measure would provide $123 million in multilateral debt relief and would contribute $25 million to the United National Population Fund.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Callahan, R-AL;
Bill HR 3196
; vote number 1999-572
on Nov 5, 1999
Member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.
Burton is a member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus
The Congressional Human Rights Caucus (CHRC) is a bipartisan group of Members of Congress in the United States House of Representatives that works to raise awareness about and combat human rights abuses throughout the world.
The caucus keeps members and their staff informed of opportunities to help through briefings on human rights topics and letter initiatives.
Source: Congressional Caucus Web site 01-CHRC0 on Jan 8, 2001
Suspend Russia's participation in the G-8.
Burton co-sponsored suspending Russia's participation in the G-8
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: A resolution expressing the sense of Congress that the continued participation of the Russian Federation in the Group of 8 nations should be conditioned on the Russian Government voluntarily accepting and adhering to the norms and standards of democracy.
EXCERPTS OF BILL:
Whereas the countries that comprise the Group of 7 nations are committed to the observance of universally recognized standards of human rights, respect for individual liberties, and democratic principles;
Whereas starting in 1991, the leaders of the major free market economies invited then-Russian Pres. Boris Yeltsin to the Group of 7, which in 1998 became known as the Group of 8;
Whereas under the leadership of Pres. Vladimir Putin, Russia has attempted to control the activities of independent media enterprises, religious organizations, and other pluralistic elements of Russian society in an attempt to mute criticism of the government;
Whereas Russian military forces continue to commit brutal atrocities against the civilian population in Chechnya;
Resolved; That it is the sense of Congress that--
the selective prosecution of Russia's political opponents, and the continued commission of widespread atrocities in the conduct of the brutal war in Chechnya, do not reflect the minimum democratic standards that characterize every other member state in the Group of 8 nations;
the continued participation of the Russian Federation in the Group of 8 nations should be conditioned on the Russian Government accepting and adhering to the norms and standards of free, democratic societies;
the Group of 7 nations should suspend the participation of the Russian Federation in the Group of 8 nations until Russia is committed to respecting and upholding democratic principles.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Foreign Relations; never came to a vote.
Source: Russia in the Group of 8 (S.CON.RES.14/H.CON.RES.143) 05-SC14 on Feb 17, 2005
Keep sanctions against Syria until WMDs are dismantled.
Burton co-sponsored keeping sanctions against Syria until WMDs are dismantled
This bill states that U.S. sanctions and controls relating to Syria shall remain in effect until the President certifies that Syria has ceased support for terrorism, has dismantled biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons programs, and has committed to combat their proliferation, respects the boundaries and sovereignty of all neighboring countries, and upholds human rights and civil liberties.
Also imposes specified trade, assistance, and military sanctions, as appropriate, on persons or countries that transfer goods or technology so as to contribute to Syria's biological, chemical, nuclear, or advanced conventional weapons programs.
Imposes specified sanctions aimed at Syria's energy sector.
Sets forth diplomatic measures intended to isolate the government of Syria.
Directs the President to provide assistance to support a democratic transition in Syria.
Source: Syria Accountability and Liberation Act (H.R.2332) 07-HR2332 on May 15, 2007
Seeds of Peace: promote coexistence in regions of conflict.
Burton co-sponsored Seeds of Peace: promote coexistence in regions of conflict
A resolution recognizing the 15th anniversary of the founding of Seeds of Peace, an organization promoting understanding, reconciliation, acceptance, coexistence, & peace in the Middle East, South Asia, and other regions of conflict.
Whereas Seeds of Peace is a program that brings together young people and educators from regions of conflict to study and learn about coexistence and conflict resolution;
Whereas these young people study and learn primarily at an international conflict resolution summer camp operated by Seeds of Peace in Otisfield, Maine, and
also through its regional programs such as the facilitation training course in the Middle East, the homestay programs in South Asia, and international regional conferences;
Whereas the first international conflict resolution camp welcomed Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian, and Egyptian youths in the summer of 1993, and has since expanded to involve youths from other regions of conflict;
Seeds of Peace reveals the human face of those whom youth may have been taught to hate, by engaging participants in both guided coexistence sessions and ordinary summer camp activities;
Whereas long-term peace between Arabs & Israelis, Indians & Pakistanis, and Afghans & Pakistanis can only be achieved with the emergence of a new generation of leaders who will choose dialogue over violence;
Whereas Seeds of Peace is strongly supported by participating governments and many world leaders; and
Whereas continued partial Federal funding for Seeds of Peace demonstrates its recognized importance in promoting peaceful resolution of conflicts as a primary goal of US policy:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress reaffirms that youth should be involved in long-term, visionary solutions to violent conflicts.
Legislative Outcome: Related bill: H.CON.RES.337; agreed to in Senate, by Unanimous Consent.
Burton is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee
The House Committee on Foreign Affairs , also known as the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has jurisdiction over bills and investigations related to the foreign affairs of the United States. It is less powerful than its Senate counterpart, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, because the House committee does not consider the ratification of treaties or the confirmation of presidential appointments, such as are made for ambassador and Secretary of State.
Source: U.S. House of Representatives website, www.house.gov 11-HC-IR on Feb 3, 2011
Withhold UN funding until voluntary and program-specific.
Burton signed United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act
Directs the President to influence the UN to shift the funding mechanism for the UN from an assessed to a voluntary basis.
Withholds up to 50% of nonvoluntary US contributions to the regular budget of the UN unless 80% of the total regular budget of the UN is apportioned on a voluntary basis.
Requires the annual congressional budget justification to include a detailed itemized request.
Prohibits making funds available for international peacekeeping activities for any purpose other than the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) or to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
States that it is US policy to oppose any proposals on expansion of the Security Council that would include veto rights for new members.
Withholds US contributions from any UN entity that recognizes a Palestinian state or upgrades the status of the Palestinian observer mission at the UN.
Withholds funds for human rights investigations in
Withholds support for any member state which is subject to Security Council sanctions, has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism, or is a country of particular concern for religious freedom.
The Congress makes the following findings:
The US pays billions of dollars into the UN system every year (almost $7.7 billion in 2010), significantly more than any other nation.
The UN system suffers from unacceptably high levels of waste, fraud, and abuse, which seriously impair its ability to fulfill the lofty ideals of its founding.
Amidst the continuing financial, corruption, and sexual abuse scandals of the past several years, American public disapproval of United Nations has reached all-time highs: 62% of Americans believe that the UN is doing a poor job
Significant improvements in UN transparency and accountability are necessary for improving public perceptions of and American support for UN operations.
Rated -7 by AAI, indicating a anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record.
Burton scores -7 by AAI on Arab-Israeli issues
The Arab American Institute has compiled a Scorecard to catalogue the voting record of the 112th Congress on issues of importance to the Arab American community. For the House, we included 15 items: two bills on the Arab Spring, five bills and one letter on Palestine, two bills on Lebanon, three bills and a letter regarding civil liberties, and two bills on immigration.
H.Res. 88 (+): supporting democratic aspirations in Egypt
H.R. 2643 (+): penalizing the Bahraini government for attacking medical personnel
H.R. 1006 (-): the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act
H.R. 1501 (-): withholding US contributions until the UN retracts accusations of Israeli war crimes.
H.Res. 268 (-): opposing any unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state
H.R. 2457 (-): prohibiting any US government document from referring to "Palestine"
H.R. 2829 (-): defunding the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. The bill's 141 co-sponsors receive a (-).
Rep. David Price (D-NC) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) issued a letter titled "Support Palestinian Aid and Israel's Security," in which they call upon Congress to continue aid to the Palestinian Authority.
H.R. 2215 (*) "to ensure that United States taxpayer dollars are not used to fund terrorist entities in Lebanon
H.R. 996 (+): to raise awareness of the use of cluster munitions where civilians are present
H.R. 140 (-): the "Birthright Citizenship Act, to eliminate "anchor babies" by changing the 14th Amendment.
H. Res. 283 (+): to counter violence and discrimination against Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian communities
H.R. 1805 (-): authorizing an extension of the USA PATRIOT Act until 2013, and amending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)
H.R. 1842 (+): the DREAM Act to protect undocumented minors pursuing higher education.
H.R. 1932 (-): the Keep our Communities Safe Act for greater power to detain undocumented immigrants.
Support Iranian demonstrators against Iranian government.
Burton signed bill supporting demonstrations against Iran
A resolution expressing support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law.
Expresses support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law.
Condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators by the government of Iran and pro-government militias as well as the ongoing government suppression of independent electronic communication through interference with the Internet and cellphones.
Affirms the universality of individual rights and the importance of democratic and fair elections.
Condemn Iran for state-sponsored persecution of Baha'i.
Burton signed bill condemning Iran for persecution of Baha'i
A resolution condemning the Government of Iran for its state-sponsored persecution of the Baha'i minority in Iran and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights.
Whereas since 1982, Congress declared that it deplored the religious persecution by the Government of Iran of the Baha'i community and would hold the Government of Iran responsible for upholding the rights of all Iranian nationals, including members of the Baha'i faith;
Whereas in November 2007, the Iranian Ministry of Information in Shiraz jailed three Baha'is for educating underprivileged children and gave them 4-year prison terms, which they are serving;
Whereas they were targeted solely on the basis of their religion;
Whereas, on January 23, 2008, the US Department of State released a statement urging the Iranian regime to release all individuals held without due process and a fair trial, including the 3 young Baha'is being held;
Whereas in March 2008,
Iranian intelligence officials arrested and imprisoned seven members of the coordinating group for the Baha'i community in Iran, on charges of 'espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic';Whereas these seven Baha'i leaders were targeted solely on the basis of their religion; and
Whereas the Government of Iran is party to the International Covenants on Human Rights:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate and House of Representatives
condemns the Government of Iran for its state-sponsored persecution of its Baha'i minority and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights;
calls on the Government of Iran to immediately release the seven leaders and all other prisoners held solely on account of their religion; and
calls on the President and Secretary of State, in cooperation with the international community, to immediately condemn Iran's continued violation of human rights.
Burton signed Hoyer-Cantor letter to Secy. Clinton from 327 House members
Dear Secretary Clinton:
We are writing to reaffirm our commitment to the unbreakable bond that exists between our country and the State of Israel and to express to you our deep concern over recent tension. In every important relationship, there will be occasional misunderstandings and conflicts.
Our valuable bilateral relationship with Israel needs and deserves constant reinforcement. As the Vice-President said during his recent visit to Israel: "Progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the U.S. and Israel when it comes to security, none. No space."
Steadfast American backing has helped lead to Israeli peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. And American involvement continues to be critical to the effort to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
We recognize that, despite the extraordinary closeness between our country and Israel, there will be differences over issues both large and small. Our view is that such differences are best resolved quietly, in trust and confidence, as befits longstanding strategic allies. We hope and expect that, with mutual effort and good faith, the United States and Israel will move beyond this disruption quickly, to the lasting benefit of both nations.
Source: Hoyer-Cantor letter to Secy. Clinton from 327 House members 2010-LT-UB on Mar 25, 2010