Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

Foreign Wars

Congressman Serrano strongly opposed the invasion of Iraq and has repeatedly called for the removal of our troops from Afghanistan.

Congressman Serrano strongly opposed the invasion of Iraq and has repeatedly called for the removal of our troops from Afghanistan. He believes that the United States should be constructive, not destructive, in its attempts to promote democracy and freedom around the world, and that military force is incapable of spreading our ideals. While military force often looks like a quick solution to difficult situations, more often than not it simply results in further suffering. 

Involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan has cost trillions of dollars, thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan lives. Not only are these extraordinary direct costs in terms of money and lives, but the continually escalating investment in defense has led to underinvestment at home. In addition, as we have seen recently, once a war has begun it is very difficult to end, and the costs just continue to build.

Congressman Serrano has repeatedly voted to end our wars abroad, to stop the funding and to bring the troops home. In Afghanistan, he originally voted for the use of military force, because he believed that limited military action was an appropriate response to the attacks on September 11, 2001. However, as it became apparent that we were bogged down in a war without a clear strategy for its end, he started pushing to bring our troops and repeatedly voted against further funding for the war.

When the administration began to make the case for invading Iraq, while we were still involved in Afghanistan, Congressman Serrano urged the President to be more cautious and to fully consult with Congress. When the authorization for the use of force against Iraq was brought to Congress, he voted against it. After the initial decision, he repeatedly called for an end to the war, and voted for timelines to bring the troops home and to stop funding the war.

In pursuing the 'Global War on Terror', he is concerned that we have sacrificed our principles at home while engaging in open ended military conflict abroad. Congressman Serrano strongly opposes the sacrifices of civil liberties that have gone hand in hand with these wars. He has opposed warrantless wire tapping and repeatedly voted against extensions of the Patriot Act. In addition, he has called for the closing of Guantanamo Bay detention center and supported criminal trials in the United States for detainees there.

Overall, Congressman Serrano thinks that we are investing too many resources into military adventures abroad and not enough in the United States. He is concerned about the circumscription of civil liberties in the pursuit of the ‘Global War on Terror’, and about the fact that there does not appear to be an end in sight. He strongly advocates bringing our troops home and refocusing our efforts on promoting our core principles at home and abroad, reserving the use of military force for when there is no other option.

More on Foreign Wars

Nov 2, 2018 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman José E. Serrano (NY-15) led a letter from 19 members of the New York Congressional Delegation calling on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to immediately address the unnecessary delays that student veterans at Fordham University and other universities across New York State are facing in receiving educational benefits promised to them under the Forever GI Bill.

Jun 7, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman José E. Serrano, Ranking Member of the Appropriations Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Subcommittee, today released the following statement in response to the Commerce Department agreement with ZTE easing the sanctions on the Chinese telecommunications firm.

Nov 7, 2017 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Serrano today released the following statement on the Trump Administration’s decision to end the Temporary Protected Status program that temporarily gives asylum to and protect immigrants from Nicaragua, and to leave TPS holders from Honduras in limbo.  Both countries that have been affected by natural disasters in recent years and economic difficulties.

Sep 20, 2017 Press Release

The Bronx Today, Congressman Serrano was joined by Former Mayor David Dinkins; Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.; New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera; New York State Assemblyman Victor Pichardo; Councilmember Vanessa L. Gibson; and Bronx Postmaster Lilliam Rodriguez for the renaming ceremony of the Morris Heights Post Office, located at 2024 Jerome Avenue, in honor of Dr. Roscoe C. Brown, Jr. The renaming was made possible thanks to Congressman Serrano and other members of the NY Delegation efforts in Congress last year.

Apr 20, 2016 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today,  U.S. Congressman José E. Serrano (D-NY) joined a group of veteran members of Congress to introduce legislation that would help deported veterans to reunite with their families in the United States. The bill would also prevent the removal of service members and veterans in the future.  Led by Congressman Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Reps. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Charles Rangel (D-NY) are also original co-sponsors of the legislation.

Aug 28, 2015 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman José E. Serrano released the following statement in support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear agreement reached between the P5+ 1 nations and Iran:

“Taking into consideration all the different components of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), I have come to the conclusion that it is the most sensible and viable way to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon now and in the future.

May 29, 2015 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman José E. Serrano released the following statement in strong support of Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement removing Cuba from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism effective today:

Sep 19, 2014 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman José E. Serrano (D-NY) released the following statement regarding his decision to vote against the McKeon amendment to train and arm Syrian rebels considered earlier this week in the U.S. House of Representatives:

Jun 18, 2014 Press Release

Washington, DC – June 18, 2014 – After spending much of the decade urging an exit from Iraq, Congressman José E. Serrano today said he is deeply skeptical and concerned about growing calls from hawks to re-involve ourselves in the fighting there.

May 19, 2014 Press Release

Washington, DC — Today, Congressman José E. Serrano helped to pass legislation, H.R. 1726, awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to honor the service and legacy of the “Borinqueneers” or 65th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army. The regiment, which was the last segregated unit composed primarily of Hispanic soldiers, was noted for its bravery and service—particularly in the Korean War. The bill, co-authored by Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, passed the House unanimously and now will await action by the Senate.