As a U.S. Senator, Claire knows America's role in the world affects our national security, and consequently, how we are able to protect our own borders from the threat of terrorism and other transnational threats, including the proliferation of drugs, international crime, public health threats (such as the H1N1 virus) and economic problems. If America engages with the world in a constructive way - while staying true to who we are as Americans - then Missouri benefits through expanded trade opportunities, safer borders and a healthier population.
Not only is good foreign policy beneficial for advancing democracy and economic development around the world, it helps keep America safe and maintain a stable international environment. Claire is particularly concerned about countries that threaten international stability, including Iran and North Korea. This year, Claire co-sponsored the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (S.908), which serves as a potential tool for tougher sanctions against Iran if Iran continues to reject U.S. diplomatic overtures and continues to enrich uranium in defiance of the international community. She also joined many in the Senate in condemning Libya for its deplorable behavior giving Pan Am Flight #103 bomber, Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, a hero's welcome upon his 2009 release from prison.
Claire also advocates for more accountability and transparency for our foreign aid, just like she does with the Pentagon and many other parts of our government. She feels that how we allocate our foreign aid to other countries merits scrutiny - and sometimes that means starting right here at home. Claire is a co-sponsor of the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act (S.1524), which strengthens the capacity, transparency and accountability of U.S. foreign assistance programs and bureaucratic structures to effectively adapt and respond to new challenges of the 21st century. She feels this kind of legislation is an important step to ensuring we are sending money to places where it will be used constructively.
Claire has the opportunity to hear frequently about issues affecting Bosnia-Herzegovina, as thousands of people from the region came to the St. Louis area following the war from 1992 to 1995 that ravaged Bosnia-Herzegovina. She continues to keep a pulse on issues such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and European Union (EU) membership, constitutional reform and other key issues in Bosnia. Most recently, she met with Mr. Zeljko Komić, one of Bosnia's three presidents, to discuss issues of key concern to Bosnia and the Bosnian-American community today.
Claire also regularly works with Missourians on foreign policy issues that are important to them. Since coming to the Senate, she has advocated for Missouri families who have endured problems with adopting or bringing home already adopted children from Guatemala. She is also concerned about respect for basic human rights around the world and signed a letter to President Karzai of Afghanistan in opposition to a recently passed law that human rights groups argued legalized marital rape. Claire also continues to monitor the situations in Darfur, Honduras, the Middle East (Israel/Palestine), Pakistan, China, Burma and elsewhere to stay informed and up to date on issues around the world affecting Missourians.