UMD congratulates all the members of the upcoming 112th Congress on their election victories and is looking forward to continuing to work with the leadership and members of both parties, in both houses of Congress, for a strong U.S.-Macedonia relationship.
The recent midterm elections brought vast changes to the composition of the United States Congress. The Republicans established firm control of the U.S. House of Representatives and Democrats maintain only a slim Senate majority in a shake-up that will invariably affect U.S. domestic and foreign policy goals.
Amidst these changes, we saw three of Macedonia’s friends (Congressmen Harry Mitchell (D-AZ), Glenn Nye (D-VA), and Earl Pomeroy (D-ND)) losing elections, leaving us to ask what these changes will mean for U.S. policy toward Macedonia in the 112th Congress. Three members of Congress of Greek ethnic identity (Congresswomen Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL) and Dina Titus (D-NV), and Congressman Zack Space (D-OH)) lost elections as well.
One of the most notable changes is the ascension of ranking Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) to the helm of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen is well known in the Committee for having a conservative stance on key foreign policy issues, which sometimes ran counter to that of outgoing Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) and the Obama Administration. Of particular concern to UMD is Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen’s co-sponsorship of anti-Macedonian resolutions in the last three sessions of Congress, referring to Macedonia as ‘FYROM’ and asserting that Macedonia is spreading hostile propaganda against its neighbor Greece. Read More…
House Resolution 486, which Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen co-sponsored during the 111th Congress, only managed to get the support of a total of 26 members of Congress. Read more…
It is uncertain what the primary focus of the House Foreign Affairs Committee will be during the 112th Congress, but it is likely that the Committee will address, among other issues, U.S. policy towards Israel, anti-terrorism legislation, and curtailment of the level of spending on foreign aid. Macedonia is unlikely to be seen as a central focus. Consequently, UMD will redouble its efforts, so that Macedonia will not be left by the wayside, as its stability is vital to the peace and prosperity of the entire Balkan region. UMD will also work on increasing foreign aid to Macedonia.
UMD looks forward to working with the new Congressional leadership, and it is our hope that they will honor their predecessors’ commitments to Macedonia, as well as their open door to UMD. Moreover, it is our strong desire for Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen to support Macedonia’s NATO membership and strengthening U.S.-Macedonia relations.
UMD encourages all Americans to whom Macedonia is important – especially those who have a freshman Senator or Representative-elect in their district/state — to contact us, so that we can include you in our outreach and educational efforts in your district/state.
If you would like to be a UMD Grassroots Advocacy Leader, please e-mail UMD President Metodija A. Koloski at [email protected] or (202) 756-2244. It does not matter where in the United States you live; everyone is welcome to become part of our advocacy efforts for Macedonia!