BUFFALO, NY – Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) will leave this week for a ten-day official Congressional Delegation (CODEL) trip to Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Sudan, Rome and London. Congressman Higgins will be traveling with several of his colleagues on the House of Representatives Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations.
“It will be helpful to base the decisions I face in Congress relative to sustaining global peace and promoting security right here at home on first-hand knowledge and experiences I will gain on this trip,” said Congressman Higgins. “I look forward to meeting with our troops and international officials dedicated to stabilizing international relations.”
Congressman Higgins recently pressed President Bush to consider the findings of a non-partisan congressional study, requested by Congressman Chris Shays (CT-4), Chairman of the National Security Subcommittee and CODEL trip leader, and conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) which determined that the administration’s early assumptions on the Iraq War were incorrect and plan to bring troops home is necessary.
Objectives of the trip include:
• Iraq: reviewing political, security and reconstruction developments, particularly national reconciliation and the role of Iraqi Security Forces in taking lead responsibility for key geographic areas;
• Israel: assessing the security situation and prospects for sustainable peace in northern Israel;
• Jordan: discussing the Iraq and Hezbollah-Israel conflicts with Jordanian officials;
• Sudan: visiting the Save the Children Compound in Darfur and gauging the role of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Nations (UN) funded agencies in alleviating suffering;
• Rome: meeting with Lebanon Core Group representatives regarding the group’s work on framework for peace and the mobilization of international assistance for Lebanon and learning more about the Vatican’s work to bring peace to the Middle East;
• London: (newly added) learning more about the foiled terrorist plot to attack flights between London and the United States.