As the President announces a new Af-Pak strategy that recognizes the critical importance of strengthening our civilian capacity, the House and Senate Budget Committees are paring back the President’s International Affairs Budget request. The Center’s sister organization’s statement on why this is a mistake below.
U.S. Global Leadership Campaign Disappointed with Significant Cuts to President’s Request
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Global Leadership Campaign released the following statement from Executive Director Liz Schrayer on the House and Senate Budget Committees mark-up of their respective FY10 Budget Resolutions:
“The U.S. Global Leadership Campaign and our more than 400 member organizations around the country are deeply disappointed by the $5.3 billion or 10 percent cut in the FY10 House Budget Resolution and the $4.0 billion or 7.4 percent cut in the Senate Budget Resolution to the International Affairs Budget. Recommended funding levels would either keep total International Affairs spending flat or in the case of the House result in a $1.3 billion cut compared with FY09 spending, sending the wrong message at a time when America faces growing unmet foreign policy and national security challenges across the globe.’
“The cuts would greatly reduce the ability of the President and his national security team to implement a “smart power” approach to U.S. foreign policy he has called for to strengthen U.S. national security. Given the ongoing global financial crisis and economic uncertainty, the United States can ill afford to reduce critical investments in its civilian-led tools of diplomacy and development vital to protecting America’s interests and addressing serious global challenges.’
“We urge Congress to restore full funding to the FY10 International Affairs Budget at the President’s $53.8 billion request level – only an 8 percent year-over-year increase – to ensure America has the necessary tools to protect our national security, build economic prosperity, and demonstrate our humanitarian values. It is unfortunate that both Committees reduced total discretionary funding on the back of the International Affairs Budget, which is a mere 1.4 percent of the entire proposed FY10 Budget.”
Interested parties can find key analysis on the Administration’s FY10 International Affairs Budget request and read key letters of support from Congress and senior retired military leaders to President Obama on the Campaign’s website, www.usglc.org.
The U.S. Global Leadership Campaign (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based, nationwide coalition of businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community leaders that advocates for a strong U.S. International Affairs Budget. Members of the USGLC – a vibrant, influential network of 400 organizations and thousands of individuals – engage policymakers in the nation’s capital and educate the public around the country to build support for these essential programs.