US Congressman Richard E. Neal (D-MA), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and co-chair of the Friends of Ireland Caucus, is leading a bipartisan Congressional delegation to Ireland, the UK, and Belgium starting this weekend.
The American delegation will participate in bilateral meetings and discussions focused on strengthening transatlantic trade relations, deepening US-EU and US-UK strategic partnerships, and underscoring the significance of the Good Friday Agreement.
“The United States has special, enduring bonds with the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Ireland,” Chairman Neal said.
“Over the next week, our bipartisan delegation will reaffirm our congressional commitment to these important relationships. We are traveling at an opportune time as we, alongside our allies and partners, seek to recover from the pandemic equitably and inclusively, and as we remain united in our condemnation of Russia’s unconscionable war against Ukraine.
“Our delegation will meet with senior government officials and local leaders at a critical time. We look forward to discussions that build on our shared interests and values.”
The members of the delegation are:
- Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA), Committee on Ways and Means
- Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX), Committee on Ways and Means
- Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI), Committee on Ways and Means
- Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI), Committee on Ways and Means, Committee on the Budget
- Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Committee on Ways and Means
- Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA), Committee on Ways and Means
- Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA), Committee on Energy and Commerce
- Congressman David Joyce (R-OH), Committee on Appropriations, Committee on Ethics
- Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA), Committee on the Judiciary, Committee on Rules
The US delegation heads abroad just days after UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss confirmed that the British government will be moving ahead with changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol, despite warnings from Ireland, the wider EU, and the US.
Congressman Neal has been vocal about Irish matters throughout his political career, and has warned against threatening the progress attributed to the Good Friday Agreement:
Preserving peace and stability on the island of Ireland is essential. Undoing the Northern Ireland Protocol could compromise the facilitation of post-Brexit trade between the UK & the European Union. The progress achieved thanks to the Good Friday Agreement should be maintained.— Rep. Richard Neal (@RepRichardNeal) April 22, 2022
The delegation's overseas engagements were confirmed the same day that US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi issued a statement saying that she finds it "deeply concerning that the United Kingdom is now seeking to unilaterally discard the Northern Ireland Protocol."