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Reps. Smith, Lipinski, Kaptur, Murphy Announce Poland Caucus for 114th Congress

Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), and Tim Murphy (R-PA) have announced the organization of the Congressional Caucus on Poland for the 114th Congress (2015-16).  The Poland Caucus, as it is also known, is a bipartisan group of Members of Congress dedicated to maintaining and strengthening the United States-Poland relationship and to educating others on the political, economic, and security issues facing this region of the world.  The caucus is pleased to have Congressman Tim Murphy join as a co-chair for the 114th Congress.

During the upcoming session, the Poland Caucus intends to focus on several issues, including Poland's perspective on Russian aggression in the region and the U.S. role in responding to this security situation; energy development and security issues of mutual interest to Poland and the U.S.; exploration of expanded trade and economic ties between Poland and the U.S.; science, technology, and innovation collaboration between the two countries; and the expansion of the Visa Waiver Program to include Poland.  

Efforts to engage the large Polish communities that reside in the United States will also be at the forefront of the caucus’ agenda.  The caucus expects that the consideration of these issues will take various forms, including briefings, meetings, and events involving members of the caucus and representatives from the Embassy of Poland as well as from Warsaw.  In addition, the caucus will conduct other policy-driven efforts and social events. 

“Poland stands an exemplar of the notion of ‘shared values,’ from human rights to our most profound global security concerns,” said Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ).  “The Poland Caucus will be an important vehicle in Congress for increasing awareness of the issues of mutual concern with this close ally.”

“As a proud Polish-American that represents a congressional district that is home to more than 100,000 Polish-Americans, this caucus provides a bipartisan platform to champion causes near and dear to Polish-Americans,” said Rep. Lipinski (D-IL).  “Poland has been a true friend of the United States.  Over the next two years, I look forward to continuing to grow our relationship with this key partner and valuable ally that has demonstrated countless times a capacity and willingness to act for the common good beyond its own borders.”

“Growing up in a family with an enduring and rich Polish-American heritage, I have seen for myself the close kinship shared by the American and the Polish people,” said Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).  “We hold a mutual and fervent commitment to liberty and self-determination.  The people of Poland helped imbue our own Republic from its founding with a passionate love of liberty for all, including key precepts of our respective Constitutions.  To me, the moment in 1999 when Poland was brought under NATO's umbrella remains one of modern history's glorious moments.  Our nations also share a close economic relationship that upholds human dignity and supports the growth of business, arts and culture.  My own district is home to thousands of Polish-Americans, a thriving community that has played an important role in the history and culture of our region. In a world where tragic conflicts arise due to naked aggression and covetous nations, there could be no more important work than to strengthen America’s relationship with our partner and friend Poland.”

“I couldn’t be prouder to represent thousands of Polish Americans who have made enormous contributions to the vitality and prosperity of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and with my own family’s Polish roots, I am honored to serve as co-chair of the Poland Caucus,” said Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA).  “I look forward to working with my colleagues to strengthen the friendship and alliance between our two countries.”

In prior years, the Poland Caucus has held briefings and otherwise been engaged in topics including missile defense, commemorating the anniversary of democracy and freedom coming to Poland, engaging the Poland government on security matters, and cultural events.

 

ERI Letter (04/18/1604:31 PMET )