WASHINGTON­ – The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s President and CEO Liz Schrayer released the following statement on the Administration’s FY18 Budget Request to Congress:

“America First starts with protecting our national security and as our military leaders are the first to say: hard power alone will not keep America safe. The danger of cutting one-third of our civilian forces at a time of such extreme global threats, famines of historic proportions, and a refugee crisis not seen since World War II is unimaginable.

This debate between hard and soft power is a relic of the Cold War that ended after 9/11. Congress must recognize that we face complex 21st century threats from the rise of ISIS to the pandemics that can show up on our shores. Reject these dangerous cuts to diplomacy and development and invest in smart power – military and civilian tools alike. The stakes are just too high for America to retreat.”

ANALYSIS: The budget includes a total of $37.6 billion for the State Department and USAID, a 31% cut from the FY17 Continuing Resolution. This includes base funding ($25.6 billion) and Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding ($12 billion). If enacted this would be the lowest level of funding for these programs since FY02 in real, inflation adjusted terms.

  • The budget cuts base funding alone by 28%.
  • The budget also includes $1.5 billion for Department of Treasury International Programs, a 35% cut compared to current levels.
  • Funding levels for sub-cabinet agencies, like the Millennium Challenge Corporation and Peace Corps, are unclear.

The USGLC will be releasing its full analysis of the Administration’s budget proposal by the close of business today. Access it here.

FAITH LEADERS LETTER: Early this morning, more than 100 Catholic and evangelical leaders wrote to the House and Senate leadership urging them to protect resources for foreign assistance.

MILITARY BRASS: More than 120 retired three and four-star generals and admirals have also urged lawmakers in recent days that “now is not the time for retreat” and to protect resources for the State Department and USAID.

CONGRESSIONAL REACTION: In the last two weeks, dozens of members of Congress have voiced their support for the State Department and USAID, including Majority Leader McConnell, and Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (Appropriations), Ed Royce (Foreign Affairs), and Mac Thornberry (Armed Services). Click here for the quotes.

BUSINESS AND NGO RESPONSES: In addition, a number of high-level leaders from the business community and global development experts have released statements on the Administration’s budget request, available here.

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 500 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic, military, and community leaders in all 50 states who support strategic investments to elevate development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.

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