April 21, 2010
Cuts to President’s International Affairs Budget Request Disregard “Smart Power” Consensus
Washington, DC — The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition today released the following statement from Executive Director Liz Schrayer on Senate Budget Committee Chairman Conrad’s cut to the International Affairs Budget:
“The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) is deeply disappointed with the decision by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Conrad to cut President Obama’s FY 2011 International Affairs Budget request by $4 billion. It is stunning that such a small fraction of the budget would shoulder the entire cut in discretionary spending. This decision flies in the face of calls from our nation’s top military leaders, including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Admiral Michael Mullen, to boost funding for our civilian-led tools of development and diplomacy. With the global challenges our nation faces, we cannot afford to neglect such vital components of our national security.
“Chairman Conrad’s 7% cut is especially dramatic considering the President’s $58.5 billion request for FY 2011 is basically a flat-line request over last year, given the pending FY 2010 supplementals for Haiti and the Frontline States.
“Just this week, a group of 31 Democratic and Republican Senators sent a letter to Budget Committee Chairman Conrad and Ranking Member Gregg urging adoption of the President’s full International Affairs Budget request.
“With such strong bipartisan support, we urge the Senate, as it has done in past occasions under both Republican and Democratic Presidents, to restore full funding for the International Affairs Budget. We simply cannot afford to under-invest in these development and diplomacy tools that help strengthen our national security, build economic prosperity and demonstrate our humanitarian values.”
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 400 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic and community leaders in all 50 states who support a smart power approach of elevating development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.
Analysis of the Administration’s FY11 International Affairs Budget request and key letters of support from Congress and senior retired military leaders can be found on the Coalition’s website, www.usglc.org.