Senator Leahy Sees Long-Term Impact of International Affairs Budget

January 4, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

Just before the holidays, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, former Chairman of the Department of State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, blogged for The Hill that a last-minute decision to scrap the popular omnibus budget in favor of a short-term “continuing resolution” shortchanged critical international programs and hurt America’s national security.

Senator Leahy asks his colleagues to get beyond the sounds bites and focus on the real policy implications of the budget. He makes clear that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan “will not be won by military force alone,” echoing what Secretary of Defense Gates said last year:  “Without development, we will not be successful in either Iraq or Afghanistan.”  Leahy also focuses on the bipartisan work he did with Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire to write an omnibus budget which makes smart investments in the International Affairs Budget.

Senator Leahy is frank, writing that freezing spending for global security programs would “shortchange the American people – this generation and future generations, compromise the security of this country, and cost the lives of countless people in the world’s poorest countries.”

To read Senator Leahy’s full op-ed – titled “The folly of trading an updated budget for a ‘robo budget’” – please click here.