As Secretary Tillerson and the Foreign and Civil Service Officers he leads around the world face unprecedented challenges—including the largest number of refugees since World War II, four famines affecting more than 20 million, and the risk of another global pandemic—he should consider building on the success of his predecessors, who recognized the new challenges our country faces, rather than ignoring their contributions.
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In today’s interconnected world, America must use all of the instruments of national security and foreign policy at its disposal. America’s civilian tools of diplomacy and development are critical, which is why the USGLC supports a strong and effective International Affairs Budget for:
- Protecting National Security by fighting terrorism, stabilizing weak and fragile states, combating weapons proliferation, and promoting global stability;
- Building Economic Prosperity by developing international markets, driving economic development, creating American jobs, and expanding exports;
- Strengthening Humanitarian Values by saving lives, alleviating global poverty and hunger, fighting HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, and expanding educational opportunities for women and girls.
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After sailing through his nomination hearing with strong bipartisan support, senators on the Foreign Relations Committee and other development leaders have called for a speedy confirmation for Ambassador Mark Green as the 18th Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development. While he will face a host of other challenges— including the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II, and a budget proposal that seeks drastic cuts to USAID— he remains hopeful about the opportunities and improvements that have been made at the agency.
Last week, the chorus of voices in support of America’s diplomacy and development programs reverberated across Capitol Hill as Cabinet officials testified on the Administration’s proposal to cut the International Affairs Budget by a draconian and disproportionate 32%. From the Freedom Caucus to the Progressive Caucus, lawmakers on key committees joined together to defend State Department and USAID programs that are vital to protecting our national security, strengthening our economy, and projecting the best of America’s values overseas.
In The Spotlight
Economic development is a lot cheaper than sending soldiers.Robert Gates Former Secretary of Defense
The account we’re talking about can make the difference between a safe America or an at-risk America… if you don’t see it as a national security tool, then I think that we are missing the mark as a nation.Lindsey Graham United States Senator
If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition.General James Mattis Former Commander of United States Central Command
It would make Americans less safe and harm our economy to turn away from the world at a time when our leadership and engagement is especially necessary. We would miss opportunities for greater prosperity and stability and sow the seeds of greater indebtedness.Senator Bob Corker Ranking Member of Senate Foreign Relations Committee
The programs supported by the International Affairs Budget are as essential to our national security as defense programs. Development and diplomacy protect our nation by addressing the root causes of terrorism and conflict. But it’s not just about security. By building new markets overseas for American products, the International Affairs Budget creates jobs and boosts the economy here at home.Tom Ridge Former Secretary of Homeland Security
The investments we make today in the developing world will help create the jobs of tomorrow here in America. Right now, the tough choice is to maintain foreign assistance, not to cut it. Right now, the bold act of leadership is to defend spending on key international programs, not to attack it.Bill Gates Chairman of Microsoft
Greater engagement through diplomacy and development is not an option in today’s world: it is a necessity. Investing in American diplomacy serves the interests of our country in all corners of the globe and helps create a better, safer world.Madeleine Albright Former Secretary of State