Blog Posts in Congress

  • May 30, 2017

    China’s “One Belt One Road” vs. U.S. Global Leadership

    Abhik K. Pramanik in Congress, Economic Prosperity, Global Development | May 30, 2017

    Last week, the Administration released its full FY18 budget request, which includes a 32 percent cut to the International Affairs Budget and signals the potential elimination of U.S. assistance to 37 nations. China, on the other hand, recently held a summit to launch a multibillion dollar global infrastructure and development initiative spanning 65 countries that account for 60 percent of the world’s population. One Belt One Road is President Xi Xinping’s ambitious effort to re-assert China’s global economic leadership. China seeks to revive the historic “Silk Road” trading route— spanning from the Netherlands to Indonesia— which helped facilitate international trade for centuries.

  • May 4, 2017

    U.S. Armed Forces Commanders Speak Out: State Department, USAID Essential to Success of Military

    Abhik K. Pramanik in Congress, National Security | May 4, 2017

    As former Secretary of Defense Gates has said, “You would find…extraordinary support across the entire Defense Department” for the State Department “and for their budget,” a fact that been made readily apparent over the last month. In written and oral testimony in Congress, our military’s most senior officers have made it clear that the Administration’s proposed cuts would not only make their jobs harder, but that a strong, fully resourced International Affairs Budget is vital to an effective national security strategy.

  • April 10, 2017

    The Case for Keeping USAID and the State Department Separate

    Abhik K. Pramanik in Congress, Diplomacy, Global Development | April 10, 2017

    If USAID were to be integrated into State, this restructuring would not only ignore the great strides USAID has made to become more efficient and accountable over the past decade, but would also make our development assistance less effective in the long run. The U.S. government’s capacity through USAID to work among foreign populations and contain threats, to set long-term goals, and to effectively monitor and evaluate development programs are all crucial capabilities that would likely be lost.

  • March 15, 2017

    Republicans and Democrats Agree: Foreign Aid Cuts Would Hurt U.S. National Security

    Sean Hansen in Congress, Diplomacy, Global Development | March 15, 2017

    Today, the Administration today released its FY18 “skinny” budget, which would slash the State Department and USAID by 31% from current levels, cut the Treasury Department’s International Programs by 35%, and eliminate five agencies associated with the International Affairs Budget. The draconian and disproportionate cuts to these programs—which have long been key pillars of U.S. national security—would take funding levels for development and diplomacy programs back to levels not seen since 9/11. Here are just a few of the many Congressional leaders who have spoken out against these cuts, or in support of America’s civilian tools of development and diplomacy.

  • February 23, 2017

    A Surprising Champion for Ending Modern Slavery

    Megan Guilfoyle in Congress, Global Development | February 23, 2017

    As the U.S. begins to implement the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act, recently enacted legislation championed by SFRC co-chairs Senator Corker and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), the committee sought insight from a surprising guest: Ashton Kutcher. Though Kutcher is famous for his acting, he testified on behalf of Thorn, a nonprofit he co-founded to fight human trafficking and slavery around the world.

  • February 10, 2017

    Leading Globally Matters Locally: A Day on Capitol Hill

    Megan Guilfoyle in Congress, Diplomacy, Global Development | February 10, 2017

    Over 100 leading business and NGOs voices more than 40 diverse organizations such as Lockheed Martin, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), Chemonics, and Save the Children joined together this week on Capitol Hill with one mission: secure and protect $60 billion for the International Affairs Budget in FY18. Under the banner of “Leading Globally Matters Locally,” the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) and Hill Day advocates held close to 80 meetings on both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate.

  • January 27, 2017

    GOP Senator: U.S. Foreign Assistance Vital to National Security

    Megan Rabbitt in Congress, Diplomacy, Global Development | January 27, 2017

    Days after Donald Trump was sworn in as our nation’s 45th President, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke with John Dickerson on CBS’ Face the Nation about why combating terrorism necessitates a strong investment in our civilian-led tools of foreign policy. The Senator maintained that in order to keep America safe, strong, and secure the U.S. needs to leverage the powers of foreign assistance, development, and diplomacy alongside the strength of our military.

  • January 13, 2017

    What Did We Learn This Week From Trump’s National Security Team?

    John Glenn in Congress | January 13, 2017

    This week’s confirmation hearings gave a first glimpse into the views of the new Administration’s nominees on the foreign policy challenges we face today and on strategic investments in diplomacy and development. They also showcased strong bipartisan support in Congress for the International Affairs Budget. Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) opened Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson’s hearings with the Senate Foreign Operations Subcommittee, saying that the International Affairs Budget at “one percent of the U.S. budget” makes the military “much less likely to be in harm’s way.”

  • September 15, 2016

    A Surprising Success Story in Congress: American Aid

    Liz Schrayer in Congress, Global Development | September 15, 2016

    “Washington is broken, nothing is getting done” is a mantra we hear often these days. Yet there is one issue that has continuously broken through in this Congress with bipartisan support: America’s foreign assistance programs. Five major pieces of bipartisan legislation on global development have been signed into law in less than two years—on food security, energy, rights for women and girls, water and sanitation, and aid transparency—all in an effort to advance America’s interests in the world.

  • August 17, 2016

    The “Shark Tank” for Zika Mosquitoes

    Sung Lee in Congress, Global Development | August 17, 2016

    While Congress debates additional resources to combat Zika this hot and steamy summer, over 900 entrepreneurs have been competing in a “Shark Tank”-like challenge for funding for new ideas to combat the virus. From an electric force field that repels mosquitoes to a mobile app that detects whether mosquitoes are carrying the virus, 21 ideas were selected to win over $15 million in grants through USAID’s Combating Zika and Future Threats Grand Challenge.