Presidential Candidate Senator Cory Booker’s Foreign Policy

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WASHINGTON D.C. — “I stand ready to partner in efforts to advance reforms in support of an inclusive, just and democratic Zimbabwe,” writes Senator Cory Booker in a statement on Zimbabwe’s recent election last year. As a top Democratic member on the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, Sen. Booker’s words hold some weight. Seven months after Sen. Cory Booker wrote this letter, he announced his plans to run in the Presidential election.

Senator Cory Booker

On February 1, 2019, Sen. Booker threw his hat in the ring for what is shaping up to be the most diverse Democratic Presidential pool in modern history. He, like many of his other Senate colleagues, faces the challenge of making himself stand out from the other candidates. Of course, few candidates are as notorious to the public as Sen. Cory Booker. Well-known on Twitter for his savvy responses to supporters and detractors alike, Booker has a history of utilizing public attention to make dramatic political points.

Part of the reason Sen. Cory Booker is noteworthy to the people is his leadership style, which is arguably more hands-on than most politicians are willing to be. Once, while serving as Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Sen. Booker ran into a burning building to save his neighbor before emergency services could arrive. He suffered smoke inhalation and second-degree burns as a result.

Senator Cory Booker’s Foreign Policy

In terms of policies, much of Sen. Booker’s attention has been devoted to domestic affairs. However, after being inducted into the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, it is clear that Booker’s eye has shifted to include international concerns. Sen. Booker serves as the ranking Democratic member on the Subcommittee On State Department and USAID Management, International Operations and Bilateral International Development. This collective specifically manages the budget for foreign aid through the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Peace Corps.

Examples of Senator Cory Booker’s Foreign Policy

  1. Specific to legislation, Sen. Booker sponsored S. Res. 286, which is a resolution to support the role of United States foreign aid to ensure access to education for children in some of the worst poverty-stricken countries through the Global Partnership for Education.
  2. Sen. Booker also personally sponsored S. Res. 616, which is a resolution encouraging the Government of Kenya to respect human and civil rights and promote a democratic system of government with open, honest elections and policies. Particularly, this resolution requested that President Kenyatta of Kenya “ensure that extrajudicial killings and other violations are investigated and prosecuted by an independent judicial inquiry.” 
  3. Most recently, Sen. Booker cosponsored a bill that has become law. S. 368, otherwise known as the Global Health Empowerment and Rights Act, is meant to prohibit application restrictions. It is designed to make eligibility requirements for foreign aid less restrictive so that applications will not be deemed ineligible “solely on the basis of health or medical services.”

Senator Cory Booker once said, “Small acts of decency ripple in ways we could never imagine.” It is clear from public statements and supported legislation that Sen. Booker’s policies embody decency. Sen. Cory Booker’s position within the different Senate Committees and his stance on foreign affairs provide a glimpse of what his international policy platform will be as a Presidential Candidate.

Rachel Kingsley
Photo: Flickr
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