Members of Congress

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Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)

“This notion that we can be an island unto ourselves, I don’t think is realistic in the world we live in… But this notion that we should cut off all foreign aid, when it’s less than 1 percent of the budget and when it’ll isolate us from the world and hurt our national security–I don’t think that makes sense.”
- Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, in an interview with National Journal, February 23, 2012

Former Representative Howard Berman (D-CA)

“It bears repeating that we give humanitarian and development aid not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it is the smart thing to do.  Addressing hunger, disease, and human misery abroad is a cost- effective way of making Americans safer here at home. And it is infinitely cheaper to address these problems with economic and technical assistance now than to wait until fragile states collapse or conflicts erupt in wide-scale violence, and we have to resort to costly emergency aid or even military action.”
Former Representative Howard Berman (D-CA), in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, March 20, 2012

“Many people believe, erroneously, that foreign aid accounts for 20% or more of our budget.  The truth is that we spend just over one percent of our national budget on diplomacy and development.  Yet these programs have an outsized impact on our health, prosperity and security here at home.  With one in five American jobs dependent on trade, and half our exports going to developing countries, our overseas programs are a critical part of strengthening the American economy and getting Americans back to work.  Building an economy that will last into the future requires building foreign markets for our goods and services.”
 – Former Representative Howard Berman (D-CA), in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, February 29, 2012

“In fact, 15% of the fiscal year 2012 international affairs budget request is dedicated to supporting critical U.S. efforts in the frontline states of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the face of mounting deficits here at home, it is important to remember that these civilian efforts are much more cost-effective than deploying our military.”
Former Representative Howard Berman (D-CA), in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, March 1, 2011

“…aid is not a gift. The United States provides foreign assistance because it serves OUR interests. Helping countries become more democratic, more stable, more capable of defending themselves and better at pulling themselves out of poverty is just as important for us as it is for them.”
Former Representative Howard Berman (D-CA),on the House floor, February 17, 2011

“The message from our military leadership, this Congress, and even former President Bush is clear: US civilian agencies must be fully resourced to prosecute the fight against terror effectively. A cut to the 150 budget harms US national security and puts American lives at risk.”
Former Representative Howard Berman (D-CA),on the House floor, January 24, 2011

“The President’s budget request recognizes that fully protecting our national interests means more than military might; diplomacy and foreign assistance need resources, and together they account for just over one percent of the federal budget. In these tough economic times, it’s particularly important to invest in an ounce of prevention so that we won’t need a pound of cure.”
Former Representative Howard Berman (D-CA), in a statement on the President’s FY 2011 Budget Request, February 1, 2010

Former Senator Kit Bond (R-MO)

“Smart Power recognizes that helping other societies become more stable makes Americans safer.”
Former-Senator Kit Bond (R-MO), in remarks given at the 131st National Guard Association General Conference, September 13, 2009

“Unfortunately, as the flood waters receded, so too did America’s smart power Engagement in Southeast Asia. This must change. The formula is not rocket science – there are a number of things we can do now: Increase Peace Corps volunteers, Increase educational exchanges, Build schools, and this one, which is probably the easiest but one of the most important…just be there!”
Former-Senator Kit Bond (R-MO),in a speech before the Asia Policy Assembly, June 17, 2010

Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA), House Majority Leader

“The more that American businesses export, the more they produce. The more these same businesses produce, the more workers they need. This means job creation for Americans.”
Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA), House Majority Leader, in a memo to Republican lawmakers, June 10, 2011

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)

“U.S. spending on International Affairs has been a frequent target of budget cutting law makers, but if the United States has to remain a global power then it must sustain investments and diplomacy and foreign aid commensurate for its national security and international interest.  Secretary Clinton put it last week in our testimony before this committee, ‘This is a down payment on America’s leadership in a fast changing world.’”
– Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, in a hearing, March 6, 2012

“I believe this is a budget that protects America’s security interest and maintains U.S. global leadership also encouraging more efficient use of tax payers’ dollars.  Development – along with defense and diplomacy , the three D’s – is one of the three critical prongs that help to ensure America’s national security.  As the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, I know firsthand how smart investments and worthy development projects are not only the right thing to do but they have a profound impact on global stability.  Often American’s do not understand how the work of the State Department and USAID affects their lives, besides from the humanitarian and moral imperative of improving lives in the world’s neediest places.  I would also like to underscore how our development assistance oversees expands, export markets and ultimately strength it’s our domestic job market.”  – Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, in a hearing, March 6, 2012

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Senate Joint Economic Committe

“I think it is important for American taxpayers to know what their investment in the International Affairs budget means for improving the domestic job market and what benefits they reap from helping to build stable societies and markets overseas.”
Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,in a statement on the International Affairs Budget, February 24, 2010

Representative David Cicilline (D-RI)

“I think that we all need to be reminded that the commitments we make, and the investments we make in this area of our foreign policy not only describe our values as a country in promoting freedom and democracy around the world, but also ultimately enhance our national security interests by creating a safer world.”
Representative David Cicilline (D–RI), Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee,in a hearing, February 17, 2011

Former Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN)

“It is important to educate the American public that it is just 1 percent.”
 - Former Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN), in a panel discussion at the Republican National Convention, August 28 , 2012

“Spending money on foreign aid is a less costly alternative to placing aircraft carriers.”
- Former Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN), in a panel discussion at the Republican National Convention, August 28 , 2012

“Even when economic times are difficult, America has enduring interests and values. A federal budget is not a simplistic choice between foreign and domestic spending. It is a balance of both, with all spending subjected to a rigorous demand for outcomes.  Adequate resources for the military are necessary. But so are adequate resources for global health, economic development and the promotion of democracy and human rights.”
– Former Senator Norm Coleman  and Former Governor Mike Huckabee in a Politico op-ed, “Soft power part of Regan legacy,” November 16, 2011

“The American people are generous, and they recognize the unique role America plays in the world. I’m a firm believer in American Exceptionalism, and the idea that an investment of our precious resources in bettering the lives of those in the world looking for hope and a future for their children is an investment in global peace and security.”
Former Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN), in a letter in The Hill, “Dick Morris gets it wrong on America’s foreign aid,” April 5, 2011

Former Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND)

“Well, foreign aid is less than 1% of the federal budget. So when you’re borrowing 40 cents of every dollar that you spend, you’re not going to solve the problem cutting foreign aid.”
Former Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND), on NPR Morning Hour, April 6, 2011

Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)

“The problem here is sustaining support for use of America’s diplomatic and developmental resources around the world.  […] I think we should continue to invest 1% of America’s total budget to make sure that we’ve got the resources to be an effective voice for justice and for progress in these parts of the world.”
– Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a hearing, March 14, 2012

“Development assistance is a reflection of our moral imperative to assist others in need, a critical demonstration of American leadership in the world. The work of USAID has inspired other countries to deepen their own international development work and has buttressed the American private sector and philanthropic development activities. Consequently, we believe that U.S. global leadership in this area should continue with a budget at or above previously funded levels.”
Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs, in a letter to the Senate State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, September 19, 2011

Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT)

“Regardless of your position on the war, however, I think we can all agree that we cannot let misplaced budget cuts to our State Department and civilian foreign aid agencies take away the very tools that our military leaders and their civilian counterparts tell us they need to effective implement a plan to begin the drawdown of our military presence by building the capacity of the Afghan people to take the lead on their own security, economic development and governance.”
Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT), Member of House Armed Services Committee, in a Dear Colleague Letter, March 2011

Former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Bill Frist (R-TN)

“What we must do is use our full complement of powers — defense, development and diplomacy — to help troubled nations build stable governments and address the needs of their people, not just for food, water and shelter but also for health, education and the opportunity to learn marketable skills. To do this, we have to invest in our future by bolstering the nation’s international affairs budget. This is something the two of us — and Democrats and Republicans as a whole — agree on.”
Former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Bill Frist (R-TN), in an op-ed for Politico, June 7, 2010

Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL)

“I’ve said many times before this committee that the work that’s being done across the globe through our funding of international assistance programs is absolutely critical to the security of our own country. Programs like the Global Health Initiative, which works to prevent the spread of HIV-AIDS and fund President Bush’s PEPFAR program, are vital to preventing global pandemics.  These are the kinds of programs that work to stabilize the most vulnerable regions in the world.”
– Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL), Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in a hearing, March 20, 2012

Former Representative Robert Dold (R-IL)

“We did not achieve our world leadership position through fearful isolation. We achieved our world leadership position by energetically engaging with the world through trade, investment, security arrangements, diplomacy and foreign aid. While we can always do better and while we will always have problems, our leadership position has made America and the world more open, more prosperous, more secure and more free.”
Former Representative Robert Dold (R-IL), in a House Financial Services Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade hearing, June 14, 2011

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Majority Whip

“I have been the easiest vote for development aid in the history of the United States Congress. I really have been. I believe in it; I believe it is the right thing to do.”
Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, May 5, 2011

“Helping other nations is in our national interest. Some say that now is not the time to invest in poor nations half a world away, when our economy is in crisis and so many Americans are hurting… But investing in clean water for the world is a smart strategy that will make our foreign assistance dollars achieve more – something we need in these hard economic times… And just imagine how bringing such a basic need to the world’s poor will impact America’s image – particularly at a time when we are in a battle of ideas in many parts of the world.”
– Senator Dick Durbin, Majority Whip, in a statement on World Water Day, March 23, 2010

Representative Sam Farr (D-CA)

“In our present fiscal environment, every dollar we spend must yield the highest possible return on our investment.  And that means doing everything possible to efficiently reduce the threat of costly conflict and build stable, peaceful American allies.  And who is on the frontlines of building peace? Our State Department diplomats, our USAID development professionals, our Peace Corps Volunteers, our US Institute of Peace civilian power, our Inter-America Foundation grassroots development capacity, to name a few.  And the budget that supports this smart power amounts to less than 2% of our total budget.  Talk about big return on small investment!”
– Representative Sam Farr (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, on the House floor, March 29, 2012

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA)

“The primary purpose of the United States government’s international involvement is to, in fact, make the world better for America . . . it’s important to your neighborhood, it’s important to your children and grandchildren, it’s important to your job that we have a world market.”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA),in a speech to USGLC audience, November 12, 2010

“A smart country consistently prefers to apply smart power and to avoid military engagement if it possibly can. And when it has to engage militarily, it wants the largest possible component of…economic, diplomatic, and communications help to surround its military activities.”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA),in a speech to USGLC audience, November 12, 2010

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for State-Foreign Operations

“I believe that one thing that unites conservatives and liberals and moderates is the view of who we are as a people. And our goal is to explain to the American taxpayer that we take every dollar you send to us seriously when we spend it through the foreign operations account.”
– Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ranking Member of the Senate State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, in remarks at USGLC’s Annual Tribute Dinner, July 17, 2012

“Being the Ranking Republican talking about foreign assistance is not popular I think in general, but I think very necessary. [...] I want people to understand that the foreign aid budget is about 1% of the total budget.”
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ranking Member of the Senate State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, in a hearing on the FY13 USAID Budget, March 14, 2012

“The foreign assistance account is a tool to be used to protect America.  There’s many ways to protect this country.  Sometimes it’s military force, but it doesn’t have to be that way all the time.”
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ranking Member of the Senate State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, in a hearing on the FY13 USAID Budget, March 14, 2012

“But I would just tell my fellow citizens and people from South Carolina, I want to shape the world the best we can rather than just follow the world and if you don’t believe military force is the answer to every problem, which I don’t, then we need an engagement strategy, and sometimes investing in a country at the right time can pay dividends.”
– Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ranking Member of the Senate State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, in a hearing, February 28, 2012

“I want to try to get our fiscal house in order, but we have to defend this country. The foreign operations account is national security in another form. The money in this account will allow people to stand up against terrorism and do something Americans have been doing a long time, and that’s helping people who really would be better off for the experience and have a kindness toward us.”
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ranking Member of the Senate State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, on the Senate floor, September 15, 2011

“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.”
- Senator Lindsey Graham (R–SC), Ranking Member of the Senate State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee in a hearing, March 2, 2011

“I just think we need to look at the whole account as a national security account that complements our military.”
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ranking Member of the Senate State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, to CQ, February 17, 2011

“To those members who do not see the value of the civilian partnership in the war on terror, I think they are making a very dangerous decision.”
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ranking Member of the Senate State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, in The Washington Post, February 3, 2011

“If you don’t want to use military force any more than you have to, count me in. State Department, USAID, all of these programs, in their own way, help win this struggle against radical Islam. The unsung heroes of this war are the State Department officials, the [Department of Justice] officials, and the agricultural people who are going out there. … The way I look at it, it’s national security insurance that we’re buying.”
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ranking Member of the Senate State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, in Foreign Policy Magazine “The Cable” Blog, February 1, 2011

Representative Kay Granger (R-TX), Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee for State-Foreign Operations

“There’s a huge misunderstanding among some members of Congress but primarily citizens and taxpayers. Our numbers show it’s about 1 percent of the entire federal budget, about 5 percent of discretionary spending. And that’s what we’re focusing on right now is discretionary spending. But there is a misunderstanding. People do say they think it’s — if we cut foreign aid, then we’re back — we’re not in trouble again with our spending. And that’s just not the situation.”
– Representative Kay Granger (R-TX), Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee for State-Foreign Operations, in an interview with PBS Newshour, March 10, 2011

“The programs that are funded in the State-Foreign Operations title of this bill protect our top national security priorities. The gentleman claims his amendment exempts national security, but it does not exempt the national security provisions in the State-Foreign Operations title.”
Representative Kay Granger (R-TX), Chairman of the HouseState-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, on the House floor, February 18, 2011

Senator Dan Inouye (D-HI), Former Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee

“For the State Department and foreign assistance, we are providing $8 billion less than was requested. This low level of funding was the most we could get our colleagues in the House to agree with and it means many important programs will have to be reduced. We won’t be able to make as much progress on fighting AIDs, and hunger. We won’t have as much funding as I would like to support our operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, but considering the budget situation we face we will have to make do.”
Senator Dan Inouye (D-HI), Chairman of Senate Appropriations Committee, in a statement, April 14, 2011

Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA)

“Smart Power is the best power.  It precedes the power you have to use with the military when all else fails.  We should never let ourselves be an ‘all else fails’ country.”
– Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), at USGLC’s Annual Conference, June 25, 2013

“Smart power and investments in foreign assistance are good for the United States of America, and good for the future of my children and my grandchildren… We ought to make sure we are making investments in the people of the world, making investments in peace, security, and democracy, and see to it that there is no more hunger; see to it there is more opportunity; see to it there is more clean water and there is basic education for the people of the world.”
– Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), at USGLC’s Annual Conference, June 25, 2013

“That investment has a tremendous payback for the United States of America in more than one way, but in particular, for companies to go and have a predictable investment opportunity with–and joint venture opportunity with—African countries that have improved their democracy, their governance and reduced their corruption and worked toward being an effective member of the world economy. So that’s an investment that has a huge benefit and payback to…the taxpayers of the United States.”
Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, April 14, 2011

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI)

“They [USAID personnel] are working hard to try and do good things, and I certainly believe that U.S. foreign aid can be a real positive influence throughout the world and enhance the U.S.’s reputation.”
Senator Ron Johnson (R–WI), Member of the Senate State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, in a hearing, April 12, 2011

Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL)

“Our national security is dependent not only on a strong military force but also on increased investments in the full range of diplomatic, development and humanitarian tools funded through the International Affairs Budget.”
Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), in a Dear Colleague Letter, November 2009

Former Congressman Jim Kolbe

“Because of their multilateral structure, the MDB’s have the means to leverage U.S. dollars wisely for effective development assistance. According to the U.S. Treasury, for every dollar the U.S. contributes, the MDB’s leverage $25 of multilateral development aid. Specifically, the U.S. contribution of $420 million to the World Bank has supported $325 billion in investments since 1988. It is hard to imagine another example of such powerful leveraging with a contribution of this size.”
James T. Kolbe, former Congressman (R-AZ), Senior Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States, in a hearing, July 27, 2011

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for State-Foreign Operations

“I also believe, as I have for as long as I have been either Chairman or Ranking Member of this subcommittee… that USAID has an essential role to play in projecting U.S. global leadership and in helping to protect U.S. interests around the world. Anyone who doubts that has not seen what I have seen – from Vietnam to the West Bank to Afghanistan, and many other places. There are countless examples where USAID has had a profound, positive impact in ways that directly advance U.S. interests.”
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, in a hearing, April 12, 2011

“As the international affairs budget faces deep cuts in fiscal year 2011 and in the future, it is important to be reminded of the invaluable assistance provided by the State Department and USAID to American citizens abroad, their families in the United States, and others impacted by foreign crises.”
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, in a statement, April 7, 2011

“The House CR would cause lasting, unprecedented damage to our global leadership and our security, and cost thousands of American jobs, at the same time that it would have no appreciable impact on the deficit. The amounts in the House CR or the Senate CR represent only 1 percent of the Federal budget, but it is a critical investment in our security that the House treats as a luxury we can do without. I challenge them to find a single current or former President, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, National Security Advisor, or, frankly, anyone with expertise in this area—Republican or Democrat—who would agree with that shortsighted, dangerous view.”
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, in a statement about HR 1, March 9, 2011

Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee

“The transition from a DOD lead to a State Department lead for numerous bilateral activities in Iraq can only be successful if the State Department and our other civilian agencies receive the resources that they need to take on these missions.”
Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, in a hearing, February 17, 2011

Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee

“National security is a three-legged stool of defense, diplomacy, and development. H.R. 1 would have chopped two of these legs at the knees. I am pleased the agreement reached by the White House and Congressional negotiators would restore many of the ill-advised cuts passed by the House of Representatives in February.”
Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, in a statement, April 12, 2011

“Diplomacy and development help avoid military deployments, and civilian aid workers are essential to the success of our Armed Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. These limited resources help stabilize conflict zones; expand global markets; respond to humanitarian crises; counter extremism; and protect Americans.”
Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, in a statement, April 12, 2011

“Cutting international affairs spending on this scale would put our nation at higher risk of terrorism, hamper our ability to achieve vital security objectives, and result in a retreat from our leadership role in the global community. It is senseless to respond to a fiscal challenge by creating a national security emergency. I will do everything in my power to ensure diplomacy and development remain vital parts of our national security.”
Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, in a statement, April 6, 2011

“It would be senseless to let our response to a fiscal challenge create a national security crisis. Now we must sit side by side, not as a gracious gesture but to do the difficult job of balancing our long-term economic prosperity with security imperatives we can’t afford to neglect.”
- Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ranking Member of the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, in Politico, February 9, 2011

Former Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)

“We should recognize that personnel from USAID, MCC, the State Department and other agencies are on the front lines in many impoverished or war-torn locations, including Afghanistan and Iraq. We appreciate the sacrifices that they make and the risks they take daily on behalf of our country.”
– Former Senator Richard Lugar,  in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, April 13, 2011

“There is probably not a person in this room who would disagree that development is critical for U.S. national security and that the alleviation of poverty and hunger is a key component. This is a sentiment that is shared in most parts of our government, including the Department of Defense.”
Former Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), in a speech at the Society for International Development’s Annual Dinner, January 28, 2010

Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

 “People look to the United States for leadership not simply because of who we are, but because we have stood with them and taken risks with them that have benefited us both. That is why a Republican foreign policy must sustain critical investments in our institutions of diplomacy, development, and democracy promotion. That is why we must forge new partnerships with dynamic emerging powers, such as Turkey, Indonesia, Brazil, and Mexico. And that is why, when our friends and allies demand more of us, as they are now doing in every region of the world, we must demand more of ourselves. The more America is viewed as a trustworthy and effective partner, the safer, freer, and better our nation and the world will be.”
- Senator John McCain (R-AZ), in an op-ed for Foreign Policy, August 28, 2012

“We can never guarantee our security through military means alone. True security requires a far broader approach, using non-military means to reduce threats before they gather strength. And this is especially true of our strategic interest in fighting disease and extreme poverty across the globe.”
Senator John McCain (R-AZ), in a speech to the Clinton Global Initiative, September 25, 2008

Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA), Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade

“By ensuring the global environment is stable, American companies can thrive and contribute to robust economic growth. Half of all global growth is expected to be in the developing world, which is estimated to lead to over $3 trillion in infrastructure spending. With MDB support, the developing world can be a source of economic growth and opportunity for American businesses.”
Representative Gary Miller (R-CA), Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade, in a hearing, July 27, 2011

“This bill ensures the Export-Import Bank continues to create U.S. jobs by supporting American companies as they compete to secure export opportunities around the world. The Ex-Im Bank’s support of U.S. companies is an example of how our government can facilitate job growth without contributing to the national debt.”
Representative Gary Miller (R-CA), Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade, during a hearing, June 2, 2011

Representative Jim Moran (D-VA)

“I hate to see our Congress turning away from the rest of the world. That’s not who we are as a people, and as a nation. Our values give hope to women and men struggling against poverty, discrimination and oppression everywhere, and we have an obligation to be a part of the solution.”
Representative Jim Moran (D-VA), Member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, in an op-ed in The Huffington Post, October 28, 2011

Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)

“Foreign aid is a de minimis part of the federal budget. And it is essential in all of the complicated relationships that we have.”
– Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), in an interview on “MSNBC’s Daily Rundown,” May 19, 2011

Former Representative Steve Rothman (D-NJ)

“It’s important to amplify the necessity … of spending what amounts to a little over one percent of our budget; one percent of our budget on the State Department’s diplomats all over the world, embassies all over the world and the amounts of foreign aid, all amounting to one percent of the budget.”
Former Representative Steve Rothman (D-NJ), in a House State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, February 29, 2012

“…our foreign aid and diplomatic budget has a return on investment that is at least a thousand fold. Cutting foreign aid will not right our struggling economy, but will ultimately cost us more in U.S. lives and taxpayer dollars. It will surely cause direct and substantial harm to America’s national security.”
Former Representative Steve Rothman (D-NJ), in an op-ed for The Hill, February 16, 2011

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

“Faced with historic deficits and a dangerous national debt, there has been increasing talk of reducing our foreign aid budget. But we need to remember that these international coalitions we have the opportunity to lead are not just economic or military ones. They can also be humanitarian ones as well. In every region of the world, we should always search for ways to use U.S. aid and humanitarian assistance to strengthen our influence, the effectiveness of our leadership, and the service of our interests and ideals.  When done effectively, in partnership with the private sector, faith-based organizations and our allies, foreign aid is a very cost-effective way not only to export our values, but to advance our security and economic interests.”
– Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, during a speech at the Brookings Institution, April 25, 2012

“One of the programs I am proudest of is the effort that began under President George W. Bush  with robust Congressional support to combat AIDS in Africa. Millions of human beings are alive today because the United States and others in the global community are paying for their anti-viral medications.  This investment allows us to say without any hint of exaggeration that by 2015, the world could see the beginning of the end of AIDS, something that was previously unthinkable just a few years ago.  We need to continue this kind of foreign aid investment not just in PEPFAR, but in malaria control, vaccine programs and agriculture initiatives so that we can make similar strides in preventing hunger and establishing a healthier global community.”
– Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, during a speech at the Brookings Institution, April 25, 2012

“The economy will be even tougher if people around the world are dying and can’t enter the workforce, and can’t be our business partners, and trade and economic development. The economy is tough now; it will get even worse.”
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, during a World AIDS Day event at George Washington University, December 1, 2011

“Foreign aid is also an important part of America’s foreign policy leadership. While we certainly must be careful about spending money on foreign aid, the reality is that it is not the reason we have a growing debt problem.”
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, during a foreign policy address at the Jesse Helms Center, September 13, 2011

“We certainly have to be more careful about how we spend foreign aid. There has certainly never been a time in American history where we can afford to throw away money and certainly this is not it either. On the other hand, sometimes in the press and in the minds of many, our foreign aid is exaggerated. It really is a miniscule part of our overall budget and it’s not the reason we have this growing debt in America. Foreign aid is important. If it’s done right, it spreads America’s influence around the world in a positive way. Let me give you an example. Under President Bush, the United States undertook funding of HIV medicines throughout Africa. Four million people in Africa today are living with HIV and haven’t died from AIDS because of the foreign aid and generosity of the American people. The result is not just the humanitarian aid that we have provided. It has also made America extremely popular around the continent of Africa. That’s a positive thing for our future. These are allies that in the future can help us, not just in political struggles but who can be our partners in economic trade. A world where people are prosperous and free to grow their economies and pursue their own dreams and ambitions is a better world for all of us. […] The real problem in America’s spending is not foreign aid, which is a very small part of our budget.”
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) in a video response during his “Marco’s Constituent Mail Box” video series, June 29, 2011

“We are still the great American people. And the only thing standing in the way of us solving our problems is our willingness to do so. And whether we do so or not is of great consequence. And not just to us, but to the whole world. I know that now some say that times are so tough here at home, that we can no longer afford to worry about what happens abroad. That maybe America needs to mind its own business. Well, whether we like it or not, there is virtually no aspect of our daily lives that is not directly impacted by what happens in the world around us. We can choose to ignore global problems, but global problems will not ignore us.”
Senator Marco Rubio (R–FL), Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in his maiden speech on the Senate floor, June 14, 2011

“There has never been a time when we could waste money on defense or foreign aid. We need to make sure the money is wisely spent. . . On the other hand, to withdraw or retreat from the world will create a vacuum that will be filled by [other] actors…Disengaging from the world will end up costing us more.”
Senator Marco Rubio, Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in an interview with the Washington Post, May 11, 2011

“The United States always has to act in its national interest. There is a national interest in the United States to be involved at some level in [the Middle East] and some of these countries. Now, obviously the money has to be well spent, it needs to be monitored, and it always has to justify itself. I would say foreign aid serves our national interest, and by the way foreign aid is not the reason we’re running trillions of dollars in debt. Our debt problem, by in large, is in three major entitlement programs that we need to reform if we want to save them.”
Senator Marco Rubio (R–FL), Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” March 30, 2011

Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chairman of the House Budget Committee

“A safer world and a more prosperous America go hand-in-hand. Economic growth is the key to avoiding the kind of painful austerity that would limit our ability to generate both hard and soft power.”
Representative Paul Ryan, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, in a speech to the Hamilton Society, June 2, 2011

“A world without U.S. leadership will be a more chaotic place, a place where we have less influence, and a place where our citizens face more dangers and fewer opportunities. Take a moment and imagine a world led by China or by Russia… So we must lead. And a central element of maintaining American leadership is the promotion of our moral principles – consistently and energetically – without being unrealistic about what is possible for us to achieve.”
Representative Paul Ryan, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, in a speech to the Hamilton Society, June 2, 2011

“They literally think you can just balance the budget by cutting waste, fraud and abuse, foreign aid and NPR. And it doesn’t work like that.”
Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chairman of the House Budget Committee, in an interview with AP, March 11, 2011

Representative Adam Smith (D-WA), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, and Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA)

“Foreign aid is far from wasteful spending: Dollars spent abroad help maintain America’s economic and political leadership, as well as support our vital national-security interests. These programs have amplified benefits for global stability through contributions to poverty alleviation, health and disease prevention, and infrastructure-building worldwide.”
Representative Adam Smith (D-WA), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, and Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA), in an op-ed for the Seattle Times, April 17, 2011

Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee for Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights

“It is not because of generosity of spirit alone that we conduct foreign assistance programs in Africa, although that would, in and of itself, justify our abiding commitment. The United States, however, has genuine significant interest on the continent as well.”
Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee for Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights, in a hearing on May 10, 2011

Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee

“The Obama Administration and the Fiscal Commission use spending by the Defense Department, the State Department, and the Homeland Security Department as part of the integrated effort to strengthen our security. We do too. The Republican budget, the House Republican budget, cuts $257 billion from this overall category. All of it from the State Department, even though Republican senators, like Senator McCain and Senator Lindsay Graham, have made it clear that they believe that that funding is an important part of the overall national security strategy.”
Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, speaking about the alternative budget resolution offered by House Democrats, April 12, 2011